Benjamín Romeo’s Contador: greatness from the garage

Benjamín Romeo’s Contador: greatness from the garage

by Westgarth Wines April 25, 2024

In the picturesque valleys of Rioja, where ancient soils witness centuries of viticulture, Benjamín Romeo has carved out a niche that defies conventional winemaking wisdom. With a seasoned career of 15 years at the helm of the renowned Rioja producer Artadi, Romeo was no stranger to the intricacies of winemaking, but it was the inception of his own venture, Bodega Contador, that revealed the true extent of his oenological prowess.

An unlikely beginning

The origins of Bodega Contador are as humble as they are extraordinary. In the late 1990s, Romeo acquired an ancient cave, a relic of winemaking tradition, to house his nascent solo project. Eventually, he moved his modest winemaking facility to his parent’s garage where he made his magnificent ‘04 and ‘05 vintages, making Benjamín Romeo the first garagiste of Rioja.

These wines were awarded coveted 100-point scores by none other than Robert Parker, catapulting Bodega Contador into the limelight as an overnight cult success.

Craftsmanship and evolution

Transitioning from garage to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, Bodega Contador today produces wines primarily composed of Tempranillo, ranging from 85% to 100% of the blend, meticulously aged for 18-20 months in new French oak barrels. This method ensures a silky texture and profound depth, characteristics emblematic of Romeo’s meticulous attention to detail.

Each bottle of Contador is a masterclass in flavor complexity. Notes of blackberry and raspberry meld seamlessly with hints of lavender and musky violet, creating a sensory experience that is both vibrant and elegantly layered. The finish is impressively long, leaving a lingering impression of finely crafted excellence. It is a narrative of unyielding passion and precision captured in liquid form.

Legacy of innovation

Bodega Contador stands as a beacon of innovation in Rioja, a region revered for its wine but also bound by tradition. Romeo’s approach – rooted in respect for the past but with a bold gaze toward the future – challenges the norm, inviting connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike to reimagine the possibilities of Spanish wine.

The pursuit of perfection

Despite the acclaim and the transformation of his facilities from humble to high-tech, Romeo remains dedicated to the artisanal spirit that birthed Bodega Contador’s first vintages. With each year, his wines continue to evolve, embodying the promise that the best, much like the fine wines of his creation, is yet to come.

In sum, Bodega Contador demonstrates the transformative power of vision and perseverance. From a garage in Rioja to the grand stages of global fine wine, Benjamín Romeo’s journey is a vivid reminder that greatness often begins in the most unexpected of places.







Also in News

Bordeaux 2023 – critics’ top choices
Bordeaux 2023 – critics’ top choices

by Westgarth Wines May 16, 2024

The 2023 Bordeaux futures campaign is now in full swing and rapidly gathering momentum.

Continue Reading

Veuve Clicquot: Emotions of the Sun
Veuve Clicquot: Emotions of the Sun

by Westgarth Wines May 14, 2024

Capturing the core essence of the iconic yellow label

Continue Reading

The art of blending: red blends
The art of blending: red blends

by Westgarth Wines May 10, 2024

Achieving the perfect balance

Continue Reading