We have caught a wave of some unknown values the past few weeks, and this is another surprise. This is a Project of a husband and wife, Alonso and Eva Lopez. They produce wine in different parts of Spain and Portugal and usually have a local winery raise the wines sold under the local winery label. The Rioja, however, is not, and they use their family name for the wine, an indication of the quality. This is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano from 40-year-old vines fermented in cement vats with wild yeasts where it spends two months, is then transferred to new French oak barrels for six months, before finally reaching 225-liter barrels where it ages for 14 months. The wine is then bottled and spends eight months in the cellar before it is released. The nose bursts with sour cherry, raspberry, violets, wild fennel, spice, and a dusty smoke while the palate is intense and powerful but with aeration starts to get more elegant. The tannins here are firm, and there are some spice notes on the palate from the wood but overall has a great sense of balance with fresh red fruits and nice acidity. The amount of quality at this pricing is insane, from the new oak to the old vines and time spent at the winery, the attention to detail here is above and beyond. As a fun note, Luis Guttierez has scored this wine around 90 points the last few vintages, and we think the 2017 is up there with the best of them.