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Tim Atkin MW praises Gómez Cruzado wines as some of Rioja’s best in his annual report on the region

The British Master of Wine applauds the progress of this century-old winery, led by David González and Juan Antonio Leza in recent years, and declares it a second growth winery among the best producers in Rioja

07 of February of 2019

Master of Wine and British journalist TIM ATKIN has returned to Rioja to publish his "deliberately controversial" fourth annual report on the region in which he declares his optimism regarding the future of this designation of origin. Atkin tasted a total of 1,100 wines from 234 wineries to create this report which awards GÓMEZ CRUZADO wines MONTES OBARENES 2015 96 points, and both CERRO LAS CUEVAS 2015 and PANCRUDO 2016 95 points, thereby situating these wines among Rioja's best “wines of the year”. The Master of Wine has also honored this century-old winery in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación by deeming it second growth according the Bordeaux classification. This classification is based on criteria regarding quality and recognizes the progress of GÓMEZ CRUZADO under the leadership of David González and Juan Antonio Leza in recent years.

The British writer speaks of “uncertainty” in the legal, social, environmental and economic aspects of the production, marketing and positioning of Rioja DOCa wine. Nevertheless, he also underscores the "potential in Spain’s most famous wine region". “In my wine tasting life time” Atkin notes, “there have never been so many people making great wines, both red and white.”

The British Master of Wine lauds the winemaking of David González and Juan Antonio Leza, and includes their wines among Rioja’s best. Regarding MONTES OBARENES 2015 – which Atkin named the 'white wine of the year' in 2013, its debut year – he notes that David González and Juan Antonio Leza "consistently produce one of the best whites in Rioja from [a] cool, Atlantic-influenced site”. He also highlights PANCRUDO 2016 as "one of Rioja’s best varietal Garnachas" and insists that it benefits from the complexity of the old vineyard in the Upper Najerilla Valley where the wine was born and is then "complemented by subtle oak and concrete egg ageing". Regarding CERRO LAS CUEVAS 2015, Atkin notes how the fruit coexists harmoniously with new wood, in a wine "with a bright, savoury aftertaste".

All the GÓMEZ CRUZADO wines tasted by Atkin received over 91 points, including HONORABLE 2015 with 94 points, an iconic wine valued for its ability to age "extremely well in bottle". GÓMEZ CRUZADO BLANCO 2017 2º year earned 92 points, and GÓMEZ CRUZADO CRIANZA 2015, both described by Atkin as “impressive”, received 91 points.

Terroirs "worthy of pride and promotion"

Master of Wine Tim Atkin has reframed this designation of origin and affirmed Rioja’s belief in its rightful position among the world’s great winemaking regions – in terms of price as well – alongside Bordeaux, Tuscany, Barolo, Northern Rhone and Ribera del Duero. “Best of all, the DOCa is finally starting to talk about origin, recognising both implicitly and explicitly that the best sites are special and worthy of pride and promotion. Rioja probably has the greatest concentration of old vines on earth. Why doesn’t it shout about this?” Atkin reflects on this point, musing that “maybe, just maybe, this would create demand at the top end, which would, in time, trickle down to the rest of Rioja”.

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