We recently tasted two beautiful reds: Hammeken Cellars Tosalet Carignan Vinyes Velles 2017, and Oráculo Tinto del Pais Tempranillo 2019. Their amazing bottle labels foreshadowed the stunning wines inside. This Spanish winery is an exporter of about 1.8 million cases each year to more than 37 countries. Overall, their goal is to create and commercialize modern, high-quality and luxurious Spanish wines. Read on for details.
In 1996, Nicholas Hammeken pursued his life’s passion for wine by creating Hammeken Cellars, formerly Vinnico Export. Initially conceived as a non-branded wine trader, his first own wine collection, Montgó, launched in 2001. Subsequently, the company released other brands such as Piquitos, Allegranza, Creencia, Gotas de Mar, Pasas and Radio Boka. Currently, Hammeken Cellars exports about 1.8 million cases of Spanish wines annually to more than 37 countries.
Their philosophy is to gather the best Spanish grapes, and make a distinctive collection of new-world-style wines. Their focus is luxury, which is apparent immediately upon seeing the two gorgeous bottles we received as samples. We decided that Hammeken Cellars Tosalet Carignan Vinyes Velles 2017 and Oráculo Tinto del Pais Tempranillo 2019 are jewels to be treasured at a delicious meal with close friends.
Tosalet Carignan Vinyes Velles 2017 ($89)
Hammeken Cellars Tosalet Vinyes Velles 2017 comprises 100% Carignan from 80-year-old vines in Priorat, a unique terroir in Spain. Hammeken planted the vineyards on steep slopes or on small plots, where the possibility of mechanization is minimal. “At altitudes between 100m and 700m above sea level, with black slate as terroir, the roots are forced to go extremely deep in search of water and nutrients. This is the reason why they are the most expensive grapes in Spain due to low yields and intensive labor.”
This is definitely an exceptional wine, with an extraordinary label, a price point of $89, and very limited production. Aromas of plums, blackberries, dark cherries, spices and coffee beans mirror the palate, with mineral notes of flint. Plush and concentrated, this 2017 Carignan is a powerful full-bodied wine. If you drink it now, decant it first. Or put it away for a few years – Hammeken says it has aging potential for the next 12-16 years.
Oráculo Tinto del País Tempranillo 2019 ($79)
Perched on one of the highest points of Ribera del Duero, grapes from 80-120 year-old vines source Hammeken Cellars 2019 Oráculo Tinto del Pais Tempranillo. Mundus Vini 2022 awarded Oráculo 2019 a gold medal, and we understand why. This is a beautiful 100% Tinto del País Tempranillo, velvety, dense and layered, with aromas and flavors of red and black fruits, toasted oak, savory meats, spices and hints of vanilla, chocolate and coffee.
If you’re a red-wine lover looking for something memorable to pour during the holidays, Hammeken 2019 Oráculo Tempranillo might be the wine for you. It is indeed a sumptuous wine, with a price point of $79. Oráculo pairs well with steaks, and other beef dishes or lamb. But be sure to decant first!
Summary: Hammeken Cellars
In conclusion, these two bottles are the epitome of a holiday wine for a special someone. Everything screams luxe – from the labels to the mouthfeel. Thanks Gregory + Vine for the impressive samples.
Margot and Dave