One of the best winemakers in Rioja, Benjamin has continuous won over critics and wine lovers alike with his incredible Rioja blends that take a modern approach on the classical Tempranillo winemaking style.
His flagship wine, the ‘Carmen’ Gran Reserva is an homage to Benjamin’s mother who loved the traditional wines, with a classic label. The wine is easily one of the best modern-traditional or traditional-modern Riojas, combining the bright floral aromas with spice and subtle complexities. His wines are consistently mentioned amongst the biggest names in all Spain such as Dominio del Pinugs. Just read what the Wine Advocate had to say about the winemaker below…
“One of the most memorable days in Rioja was spending an afternoon in the company of the inimitable Benjamin Romeo, the tour de force behind Bodega Contador. We flitted from one patch of twisted ancient vines to another, mainly around the medieval village of San Vincente, Romeo again and again propounding his mantra that terroir creates great wine. This involved one perilous drive through vegetation as thick as the Amazon until the 4×4 exited into a parcel of century-old, gnarly Tempranillo vines (upon which he mentioned that they were far more accessible on foot).
Benjamin himself comes across as an intense, passionate, uncompromising winemaker, a little distant and apprehensive at first, but warming to someone who is patently interested in terroir. Bodega Contador is certainly a slick operation, fastidious down to the last detail, resulting in a set of sumptuous, silky smooth, curvaceous Rioja wines that are seductive, yet deserve considerable cellaring.”
“I tasted an impressive portfolio of wines from Benjamín Romeo, one of the best I can remember, with Contador going back to the elegance and Chambolle-like purity that I remember from vintages like 2000, but cleaner and more focused. The more traditional Carmen shows how the modern and traditional styles can coexist and even converge. Bravo Benjamín!” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
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96+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The classic take on Rioja from Benjamín Romeo is the 2010 Carmen Gran Reserva and it blends all of the traditional red grapes: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrels for two years, plus a further three years getting polished in bottle. This is a wine inspired by the old Rioja wines produced with the know-how and experience from Benjamín Romeo. It takes some time to open up, but it slowly unfurls with aromas of some herbal hints, tobacco, nuts and spices, with a touch of cherries in liqueur (there is some 10% Garnacha); there are also flowers, sour cherries, subtle balsamic, with notes of camphor and a hint of cured meat… There are more and more aromas coming out of the glass–a chameleon of a nose, a wine to smell and smell. The palate is simply stunning. Gobsmacking balance and precise, focused flavors, subtle, integrated acidity and an eternal finish. This is just superb. And the price, even if it’s not low, is also great for the quality it delivers.