Cartago Paraje del Pozo

"from an ungrafted 45-year-old vineyard...planted on sandy soils, which tend to produce the most elegant wines of the region...The extended élevage has polished the palate and the wine has a sleek texture...A noteworthy debut." —
Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Toro D.O.
90% Tinta de Toro and 10% Other grape varieties, from an own-rooted, 45-year-old, single parcel
700+ meters / sandy, loose textured soil over clay sub-soil
Farming Methods
Practicing Organic, incorporating some Biodynamic principles and practices
Hand harvested into small boxes
Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed prior to fermentation with native microbes, 2 weeks of skin maceration
Aged in new and used French oak barrels for 36 months
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2013
96 (VeV) 95 (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
96 Vivir el Vino An elegant Toro in which its mineral and spicy parts speak for themselves. In the background there is a great density of fruit and toasted reminders of the careful barrel aging. The palate is sweet, sapid, round and balanced. In the mouth the tannin is firm, the acidity correct and ends up leaving a long aftertaste with chocolaty notes.
95 The Wine Advocate Despite the challenging conditions of the year, they also produced a 2013 Cartago Paraje del Pozo, which is a very fresh year for Toro. It has aromas of tar and licorice, a bit wild, with power and good freshness. It has abundant, fine grained tannins. This is a vin de garde, with structure and tannins, from a cool vineyard in a cool vintage, very apt to lie down in your cellar. It has already developed some complexity, notes of tea leaves, dark chocolate, meat and underbrush. Some 3,800 bottles produced.
August 2018 - Issue 238
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Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2014
95+ (RP) 94 CS (WE)
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95+ The Wine Advocate The gran reserva style, single-vineyard 2014 Cartago Paraje del Pozo comes from a 45-year-old plot on very poor soils that, like all old vineyards, has a majority of the dominant red Tinta de Toro but has around 10% of other varieties that add complexity. This wine has an extended aging of some three years in oak barrels, and it's released one year after its bottling. 2014 is a very complete and balanced year, which has produced a concentrated and powerful Cartago, with plenty of tannins, quite tight and austere, in need to develop further complexity in bottle and to tame the tannins. It slowly opens up in the glass, showing spicier and more complex and nuanced with time and air. This could be a better wine than the 2013 in the long run. 3,900 bottles were filled in July 2017.
August 2018 - Issue 238
94 CS Wine Enthusiast Initially, this big-time Tempranillo from Bodegas San Román smells lactic and chocolaty, with a hint of marshmallow to go with black cherry and blackberry fruit. On the palate, this is rugged and tough, something you can embrace but can’t avoid. Black cherry, cassis and dark plum flavors finish with cocoa notes, and the more air this sees the better it will perform. Drink through 2030.
Cellar Selection - July 2019
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Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2015
96 (WRO) 95 (RP) 95 (VM) 94 (VfC) 93 (WE) 93 (WS)
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96 Wine Review Online This is a fantastic release from the uber-talented Garcia family’s outpost in Toro. The richest and most “impressive” of the three vintages of this wine that I’ve been fortunate to taste, it shows a lovely aromatic wisp of woodsmoke, but from somebody’s else’s campfire, not one right under your nose. Scents of ripe fruit are also evident, showing both red and black fruit tones along with suggestions of baking spices. In palate profile, it offers medium-plus body with good density but no sense of heaviness, and much more flavor impact than sheer weight, with no hint at all of over-ripeness from a hot, dry year that could easily have produced that result. Clearly based on extraordinary fruit sourced from an un-grafted single site with vine age of 45+ years, this is on the lavish side in terms of fruit that’s nicely counterbalanced by a well-measured dose of the finest oak, which lends extra grip and complexity. By “well-measured,” I mean more specifically that the proportions of fruit and oak in the wine’s aftertaste are almost identical to when the wine first tips out of the glass and onto one’s tongue. This is a very special wine made to improve for many years, but the fact is that it is already beautiful and easy to enjoy with food.
Michael Franz – Issue: December 1, 2020
95 The Wine Advocate The 2015 Cartago Paraje del Pozo comes from a more opulent vintage and feels quite different from the rest of wines from the García family I tasted next to it. 2015 is a warmer and more tannic vintage. This feels a little more classical, a serious wine designed to develop in bottle, where it should absorb the oak. It had a long élevage of 30 months. It was bottled in July 2018. Drink Date: 2022 - 2034
The García family from Mauro has also started converting their vineyards to biodynamic, a fascinating change, but a normal move after their organic work.
December 2019
95 Vinous Media Opaque ruby. Ripe dark berries, cherry cola, vanilla and pungent flowers on the deeply perfumed nose. Smooth, broad and sweet on the palate, offering impressively concentrated cherry liqueur and blackberry flavors and subtle hints of mocha, licorice and spicecake. A smoky nuance emerges with air and carries through the extremely long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the floral and vanilla notes. 2023- 2033
Josh Raynolds - February 2021
94 View from the Cellar The 2015 Cartago Paraje de Pozo bottling from Bodegas San Roman is produced from a forty-five year-old vineyard that is farmed biodynamically, planted on franc de pied rootstock, planted to ninety percent tempranillo and the other ten percent being a field blend of other varieties. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged fully three years in a combination of used and new casks; the 2015 vintage comes in at 14.5 percent octane. The bouquet here is deep and excellent, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of black cherries, sweet dark berries, cigar wrapper, a touch of meatiness, beautiful brown spice tones and a refined foundation of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and complex, with great midpalate depth, excellent, salty soil signature, ripe, chewy tannins and outstanding focus and grip on the long, complex and well-balanced finish. This is still a young wine and need at least another decade in the cellar to fully blossom, but it is going to be a stellar bottle in due course. 2031-2080+.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
93 Wine Enthusiast Deep ruby in the glass, this wine offers a bouquet of cherry, blackberry and cinnamon stick. It is rich on the palate, with hefty tannins backing flavors of dark plums, fruits of the wood, chocolate covered espresso bean and tobacco leaf. A note of salinity lingers on the finish. Mike DeSimone – April 2022
93 Wine Spectator This red has structure and depth, but remains balanced and approachable. Black cherry and plum flavors mingle with notes of coffee, dried herb and loamy earth. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2030. 410 cases made, 40 cases imported. — TM
November 2020
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Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2016
98 (WRO) 95 (VfC)
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98 Wine Review Online This is probably the best newly released wine I’ve tasted in 2021, and we’re into late October as I’m writing this, so that’s saying something. Only time will tell how great this wine will become as it approaches maturity, but time is very much on the side of this gorgeous, superbly balanced, remarkably intricate wine. So deeply pigmented that there’s almost no “edge” to the wine even when tipped in a big glass under bright light, the impressiveness begins optically even before sniffing or tasting. That initial impression is only corroborated on the nose and palate, as the wine shows excellent aromatic expressiveness and very deep flavors, but without the barest hint of excessive oak scents, or any overt heaviness in the mid-palate or finish, which is the magic of this 2016 vintage in several important appellations in Europe, ranging from Bordeaux to Barolo and beyond. The fruit is especially pure in this vintage, showing dark cherry notes at its core but also other shadings of fresh berries, and though “purity” is the prime impression, the wine isn’t pure in an un-complex sense. On the contrary, the different “shadings” I just referred to are evident to differing degrees from when the wine first touches one’s palate through the finish, and they also show themselves differently as the wine warms and breathes in the glass over time. Oak spice is beautifully interwoven with the fruit flavors, and though wood impressions are somewhat assertive in this new release, they certainly don’t overwhelm the fruit at any point the sensory experience that the wine provides even now. Still, there’s no doubt this will be significantly better in another 5 years, and better still in 10. Beyond that, I’d be engaging in guesswork, but there’s no doubt this has a full decade of positive development ahead of it. Truly a spectacular rendition of Tempranillo.
Michael Franz - October 26, 2021
95 View from the Cellar The Cartago Paraje De Pozo bottling from Bodegas San Román is made from an ungrafted, forty-five year-old vineyard that is composed of ninety percent tempranillo and ten percent other varieties, co-planted in a field blend. The vines are farmed by certified organic principals and are in conversion to biodynamics. It is handled similarly to the above wine in the cellars, with indigenous yeasts, but is aged fully three years in a combination of American and French oak casks. It again tips the scales at 14.5 percent octane. The nose is deep, complex and quite expressive at six years of age, offering up scents of sweet dark berries, black plums, cigar smoke, gentle spice tones, just a hint of expensive new leather, dark soil elements and a judicious framing of oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with a lovely core, excellent soil signature and grip, ripe, firm tannins and a long, complex and gently warm finish. The ungrafted vines here give the wine a different textural polish than in the above wine, with a more delicate palate impression, despite it being equally ripe and powerful. This too is an immensely impressive bottle of Toro! 2030-2080+.
John Gilman – Issue #98 March/April 2022
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Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2018
98 (OB) 97 (WRO) 95 (RP) 95 (VM) 94 (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
98 2018 Bodega San Roman ‘Cartago Paraje del Pozo’ Toro- The mind-bending ‘Cartago Paraje del Pozo’ Toro comes is comprised of 90% Tinta de Toro and 10% other grape varieties, coming from an own-rooted, 45-year-old single vineyard. This is the inaugural vintage of this wine that shows very inky in the glass, this shows off amazing power with its massive dark and blue fruit profile. Pencil lead, and creme de violette notes combine with mocha, tar and iron with heady blue fruits on the palate. Finishing long with beautiful tension and viscosity, this is quite simply a masterpiece by San Roman. Drink 2023-2045-
Owen Bargreen - October, 2023
97 Wine Review Online This wine is already stupendously good — so striking in its excellence that I worry that it will make my already gaudy score look stingy when I revisit the wine years from now. For the sake of context, I see the similar high scores for comparably-priced wines from Bordeaux from the trio of vintages 2018 – 2019, and now huge scores again for “futures” offerings from 2022, and they make me wonder: How many wine lovers and collectors will pass on this because they think nothing from Spain could quite measure up to its French peers at this price level? My guess is that the number is high, but that it would plummet if more of the people in question were ever to taste this. Very dark and rich, with excellent aromatic and flavor expressiveness as well as complexity, it seems to show a different set of nuances with every sniff and sip. It continued to accomplish that for 48 hours without ever showing any tiring over time, even though it was completely convincing from the moment the cork was pulled. A longstanding piece of wisdom among generations of wine evaluators is that truly great wines are great at every stage of their development, and in my experience, showing greatness early on is much rarer than showing it with the benefit of — say — a decade in bottle. This wine is already there.
Michael Franz - Issue: June 20th, 2023
95 The Wine Advocate The single-vineyard red 2018 Cartago Paraje del Pozo feels young and energetic and comes through as quite tannic and still unapproachable, despite having been in bottle for one and a half years. It comes from a 50-year-old plot on very poor soils that delivered contained ripeness. 2028 was a cooler and rainier year with classical wines with good concentration and balance for the long haul. This had an extended élevage of 30 months in new and used oak barrels. This is a concentrated, ripe, powerful and oaky Tempranillo (or Tinta de Toro) in need of some more time in bottle. 3,745 bottles were filled in July 2021. Drink 2024-2032.
Luis Gutierrez – The Wine Advocate January 2023
95 Vinous Media The 2018 Cartago, matured for 30 months in oak barrels, is a garnet red wine o!ering sour cherry and plum marmalade notes intertwined with hints of blood and wild herbs over an oak vanilla backdrop. Rich and dry, its velvety tannins are supple and complemented by a juicy palate. Intense, it prolongs the fruit notes for a lingering experience. This is a well-balanced Toro red.
Joaquin Hidalgo; Reds From Toro: Old Vines and New Knowhow (Dec 2023)
94 View from the Cellar The 2018 Cartago Paraje De Pozo bottling from Bodegas San Román hails from a single vineyard that is forty-five years of age. It is planted to a field blend that is ninety percent tempranillo, interspersed with other red grape varieties; it is farmed organically and incorporates some biodynamic principles as well. The wine is aged for three years in French oak casks, with a percentage of the casks new each vintage. The wine comes in at 14.5 percent alcohol and delivers a simply superb bouquet of cassis, sweet dark berries, cigar wrapper, coffee bean, a touch of grilled meats, a fine base of soil and a very refined framing of nutty oak. On the palate the wine is young, full-bodied and shows off outstanding mid-palate depth, with fine focus and grip, firm, chewy tannins and excellent balance on the long and nascently complex finish. This is a superb and impeccably balanced wine that is going to be stellar once it is ready to drink, but will demand plenty of bottle age to soften up its chassis of tannin. 2035-2080.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
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Cartago Paraje del Pozo 2019
93 (WS) 93 (VfC)
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93 Wine Spectator A structured red, whose thick, creamy texture carries well-meshed flavors of black cherry compote, crème de cassis, Mediterranean macchia, espresso and graphite. Firm and focused, offering good integration and balance, this opens nicely in the glass, with the chewy finish showing loamy earth and spice notes. Best from 2027 through 2034.
A.N. April 2024
93 View from the Cellar The 2019 Cartago Paraje De Pozo is a single vineyard bottling from Bodegas San Román, with the vines now more than forty-five years of age. As I mentioned last year, it is planted to a field blend that is ninety percent tempranillo, interspersed with other red grape varieties and farmed organically. The Cartago Paraje De Pozo is raised for three years in French oak casks, with a percentage of the casks new each vintage. The 2019 version tips the scales at 14.5 percent alcohol and offers up a deep, ripe and complex nose of sweet dark berries, cassis, cigar ash, dark soil tones, coffee bean and smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, broad-shouldered, full-bodied and nicely ripe, with a rock solid core of fruit, good soil undertow, firm, chewy tannins and fine length and grip on the long, well balanced and youthful finish. This is another excellent bottle in the making, but its extra year in cask seems to have given it a bit of backend wood tannin that will prolong its period of hibernation. 2036-2080.
John Gilman; Issue 109, January – February 2024
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