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CASAR DE BURBIA

Region: Castilla y León
Appellation: D.O. El Bierzo
City: Carracedelo
Winery Website: www.casardeburbia.com
Winery GPS Coordinates: 42.55464, -6.72437

OVERVIEW

From 1989, the Fernández Bello family began acquiring and rehabilitating dozens of small neglected parcels to create a contiguous property, traversed by the historic Camino de Santiago, on the south-facing slopes of Valtuille de Arriba in the heart of Bierzo Alto. Altitudes over 2300 feet, perfect exposure and excellent drainage are enhanced here by the region’s most mineral soils, consisting primarily of molybdenum (slate origin) and ferrous clay. Wines from low-yielding vines in these soils offer the potential for an explosion of minerality and concentrated, fresh fruit.

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HISTORY

Casar de Burbia is a small family-owned and managed estate consisting of 27 hectares (68 acres) of Mencía vines, the great majority of which are over 60 years old, the oldest over 100 years old.

From 1989, the Fernández Bello family began acquiring and rehabilitating dozens of small neglected parcels to create a contiguous property, traversed by the historic Camino de Santiago, on the south-facing slopes of Valtuille de Arriba in the heart of Bierzo Alto. Altitudes over 2300 feet, perfect exposure and excellent drainage are enhanced here by the region’s most mineral soils, consisting primarily of molybdenum (slate origin) and ferrous clay. Wines from low-yielding vines in these soils offer the potential for an explosion of minerality and concentrated, fresh fruit.

Forty-two separate parcels are classified into three categories according to altitude, slope, exposure and soil type. The grapes are selected, fermented and aged separately in small lots. Only oak-aged wines are produced, with a minimum aging period of six to sixteen months following malolactic fermentation in barriques. Early aging takes place in primarily American oak, the percentage of French oak increasing in wines aged over six months. Barrels are medium toast, and at no point is the oak allowed to dominate.

The first wine of the estate, Casar de Burbia, is aged six months or more in oak. In excellent vintages a selection from the steepest slopes and oldest vines is destined to the production of Tebaida, aged a minimum of 16 months in French oak.

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PRESS

Casar (2009) - "This generous red delivers ripe plum and blackberry flavors in a thick, plush texture, with just enough tannins for grip. Licorice and wild herb flavors add interest. Juicy and appealing, with depth. Drink now through 2017. 4,000 cases made."

90 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Oct 1, 2012

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Hombros (2009) - "Bright violet color.  A pungent, complex bouquet evokes candied dark berries, cherry pit, licorice and minerals, with sexy incense and potpourri nuances emerging in the glass.  Bright, mineral-laced blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors gain sweetness with air and show impressive energy.  Sweet and silky on the vanilla-accented finish, which is given grip by soft, harmonious tannins."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Casar (2009) - "Dark ruby.  Intense cherry and dark berry aromas and flavors, with subtle spice and floral qualities emerging with air.  Fleshy and smooth in texture, with strong finishing power and gentle, slow-building tannins."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Hombros (2007) - "Blackberry, tobacco and balsamic aromas lean slightly towards vinegar, and there’s a distinct tangy quality to the palate. Otherwise, the wine is very nice, with plum and blackberry flavors. Tobacco notes reappear on the finish along with toasty oak. Will do best with food."

88 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jul 1, 2012

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Hombros (2007) - "This red shows plenty of personality, with exotic floral, spice and wild berry flavors mingling in a pillowy texture. Ripe and sweet, but with lively acidity. Drink now through 2015."

88 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Oct 1, 2011

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Tebaida (2008) - "The 2008 Tebaida was aged in new French oak for 15 months. It gives up a brooding, slightly reticent, lightly roasted bouquet of Asian spices, incense, mineral, beef blood, and assorted black fruits. More structured than the Hombros cuvee, it will evolve for 3-4 years and offer optimum drinking from 2014 to 2023. "

92 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Tebaida #5 (2008) - "The 2008 Tebaida 5 was sourced from the estate's original plot planted in 1903 and aged in new French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, reticent aromas of sandalwood, exotic spices, incense, violets, black cherry, and black raspberry inform the nose of this tightly wound, powerful yet elegant offering that will require considerable patience from those who buy it. Give this substantial effort another 6-8 years of cellaring and drink it from 2017 to 2033."

93+ Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Casar de Burbia (2008) - "The purple-colored 2008 Casar de Burbia spent 6 months in seasoned American oak. Intense minerals, mulberry, boysenberry, and balsam wood aromas lead to an elegant, racy Mencía that displays uplifting acidity and plenty of length. Drink this outstanding value over the next 5-6 years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Hombros (2007) - "The 2007 Hombros displays a brooding bouquet of cedar, leather, Asian spices, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry. Ripe on the palate with some complexity, it will evolve for 2-3 years and provide a drinking window extending through 2019."

91 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Tebaida (2007) - "This gorgeous wine is among the very best of the appellation, and is a challenger to such start as Paixar and the San Martin and La Lamas bottlings from Descendientes de José Palacios. Importantly, it costs less than half what is currently being asked for these other wines, and though it may be a little less concentrated than they are, it may be even more intensely mineral in character--which is really saying something. It shows a very healthy dose of fancy French oak, but only if one really “looks” for it, as the intensity of the bright, fresh, dark cherry fruit and the amazing minerality that rides through the finish are more than a match for the wood notes. Simply stunning stuff."

94 Points
Michael Franz, Wine Review Online, Oct 19, 2010

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Tebaida (2007) - "Though oak dominates the aroma, this is charged with ripe red fruit in the mouth. It's an ambitious wine, big, warm and toasty. Put it away for winters to come and serve with braised oxtail."

89 Points
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Oct 1, 2010

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Casar de Burbia (2007) - "The 2007 Casar de Burbia, sourced from vines at least 30 years of age, was fermented and aged for 6 months in barrel. It offers up a slightly reticent bouquet of mineral, cigar box, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry leading to an already complex wine with a bit of structure under the smooth texture. Ripe and succulent on the palate, it is likely to evolve for 1-2 years but can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Tebaida (2007) - "The 2007 Tebaida was sourced from Mencía vines over 60 years of age with 16 months of aging in new French oak. Opaque purple with a brooding bouquet of slate/mineral, violets, incense, and assorted black fruits, on the palate it is dense, layered, and impeccably balanced. Give this lengthy effort another 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it from 2013 to 2022."

92 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Hombros (2006) - "The 2006 Hombros was made from vines of at least 40 years of age with malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by 12 months in Hungarian and French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it exhibits an enticing nose of slate/mineral, espresso, black cherry, and black raspberry. On the palate it reveals excellent black fruit flavors, plenty of structure, and considerable volume. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it through 2021."

91 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Tebaida #5 (2007) - "The 2007 Tebaida P5 was sourced from a parcel planted in 1905. Dense purple in color, it sports a fragrant aromatic array of pain grille, mineral, violets, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry. On the palate it deftly combines elegance with power. Loaded with succulent fruit balanced by an excellent acid structure and well-integrated oak, this concentrated, lengthy Mencía will evolve for 5-6 years and see its 20th birthday in fine form."

93 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Tebaida (2006) - "From old-vine vineyards on clay soils in Valtuille de Arriba, this mencía hides its exuberant juiciness behind aromas of oak. The acidity keeps it vigorous and gripping, while the finish offers pretty aromas of flowers and cherries. To drink with roast duck."

92 Points
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Oct 1, 2009

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Tebaida (2007) - "Vivid ruby. Spicy, mineral-inflected aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and licorice, with a suave floral note gaining strength with air. Sweet and spicy, offering energetic, refreshingly bitter cherry and dark berry skin flavors and a sweet note of cola on the back end. Finishes with juicy persistence and resonating minerality."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 30, 2009

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Tebaida (2007) - "Vivid ruby. Spicy, mineral-inflected aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and licorice, with a suave floral note gaining strength with air. Sweet and spicy, offering energetic, refreshingly bitter cherry and dark berry skin flavors and a sweet note of cola on the back end. Finishes with juicy persistence and resonating minerality."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 17, 2009

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Tebaida #5 (2006) - "The 2006 Tebaida P5 was sourced from a single vineyard planted in 1905. A saturated opaque purple in color, it delivers a complex, captivating perfume of liquid minerality, lavender, incense, smoke, blueberry, and blackberry. Elegant on the palate, it has layers of sweet fruit, a silky texture, savory flavors, and a 60-second finish. This lengthy wine will provide pleasure through 2026."

93 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Tebaida (2006) - "The 2006 Tebaida was sourced from Mencia vines over 60 years of age and aged for 16 months in new French oak. Inky purple-colored, it offers up a complex aromatic array of toasty new oak, smoke, lavender, black cherry, and blueberry. Structured on the palate, this medium-bodied, suave effort will benefit from 4-6 years of additional cellaring and offer a drinking window extending from 2014 to 2024."

91+ Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Casar de Burbia (2006) - "The 2006 Casar de Burbia is 100% Mencia sourced from 30+-year-old vines. The wine went through malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by six months in American, French, and Hungarian oak. Deep crimson-colored, it reveals a touch of cedar, spice box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry in its enticing bouquet. This leads to a layered, elegant wine with plenty of succulent fruit, good balance, and a fruit-filled finish. It can be enjoyed over the next six years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Tebaida (2006) - "It's hard to find many of the Mencia-based wines from this Spanish region, especially those not made by Alvaro Palacios. I hope to encounter this one again, because it has all the sanguine, leathery characteristics of Mencia but with a lifted, refined profile."


Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 29, 2008

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Tebaida (2006) - "Saturated violet color. Sexy dark berry preserve and candied plum aromas are brightened by Asian spices and floral scents. Pliant and concentrated, with lively black raspberry and cassis flavors, velvety tannins and a late jolt of vanilla and cola. Manages to be deep and succulent while maintaining energy and clarity, and finishes with noteworthy sweetness and length. A very seductive wine that is delicious now but built to age. "

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Oct 1, 2008

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Casar de Burbia (2006) - "Youthful purple. Smoky cherry-cola and blackcurrant aromas are deep and powerful, with subtle vanilla and baking spice qualities adding complexity. Fleshy and sweet, with bitter cherry and dark berry skin flavors, dusty tannins and refreshingly bitter back-end bite. I like the balance of fleshiness and firmness here. Finishes with very good juicy persistence."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Oct 1, 2008

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Casar de Burbia (2004) - "The 2004 Casar de Burbia was aged for 6 months in American oak. Purple-colored it exhibits an alluring bouquet of cedar, tobacco, pencil lead, blueberry, and black raspberry. Smooth-textured, elegant, and nicely balanced, it has 1-2 years of aging potential and will provide satisfaction through 2015."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2008

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Tebaida (2005) - "The 2005 Casar de Burbia 'Tebaida' spent 16 months in new French oak. Inky purple, it offers an expansive perfume of pain grille, pencil lead, mineral, blueberry, and black raspberry that jumps from the glass. Sweeter, riper, and richer than its younger sibling, it has enough structure to merit 2-3 years in the cellar. This lengthy wine will deliver pleasure through 2020."

92 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2008

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