Luis Saenz is a small family winery centered around an old defensive tower called El Castillo. Built on the banks of the Ebro River at 1800 feet above sea level, the tower with its arrow windows is much older than the vineyard. However, the poor, clay-calcareous soils surrounding the tower are home to original vines planted by Saenz’ grandfather almost 100 years ago. That’s pretty fantastic fruit for a $16 Rioja. Also, the vineyards are located in El Cortijo (the heart of La Rioja Alta), so you get plenty of distinct terroir in the glass. For his Crianza, Saenz uses hand-harvested fruit from 90 year-old-vines which he destems and macerates for an extended period. Malo takes place in new French and American oak followed by a year in the same barrels. After another year in the bottle, this 100% Tempranillo is ready to enjoy.