Grape Varietals: 85% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha Tinta, 7% Graciano
Growing Region: Rioja, Spain
Chief Winemaker: Fernando Gómez

Driving west from Barcelona across the arid countryside of northern Spain - and making my way through the vineyards that cover the Rioja region was a most memorable experience. This Gran Reserva wine is only made in excellent or very good vintages. It undergoes nearly two and a half years ageing in the highest quality French oak barrels, followed by further ageing in bottle before being released.

 

The fruit for this Gran Reserva is sourced from a selection of 35-50 year-old vines with some parcels in Rioja Alta 65-85 years old, and each low yielding. I have had the pleasure to visit the Tempranillo vineyards from which this wine is crafted, planted at altitudes varying from 400-620 meters. Located in different zones within the Cenicero region, Elciego and Laguardia, which provide diverse complexity. The Garnacha Tinta grapes were chosen from vineyards located in Rioja Alta, specifically Cenicero and Nájera, with respective altitudes of 650m and 500m, resulting in finesse, freshness and palate structure. The Graciano fruit was selected mainly in Elciego, where the grapes offer unique elegance, style and vibrant colour.
All three varietals are grown on mainly clay and limestone soils, with each parcel being hand-picked and quickly delivered to the winery. On arrival the grapes were de-stemmed and crushed, with fermentation occurring under controlled temperatures reaching 28ºC. Maceration on skins lasted for up to 30 days extracting colour, aromas and tannin structure. The wine was then transferred to new French oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks, depending on the parcel, where malolactic fermentation was completed. Once this process had finished, the wine was put into oak barrels for further ageing with racking every 6 months.
The wine had a total time of 24-26 months in oak, depending on the parcel and if the French oak barrels were 1 or 2 years old. The wine was then tasted, blended and then aged in bottle for a minimum of 4 years before release.
This wine has a deep, rich red colour filling your glass. On the nose, intense aromas of wild fruits and Morello cherries infused with slightly toasted vanillin notes. The palate is full and engaging, delivering superb tannins which highlight its structure and layered complexity. This 2008 Gran Reserva has an impressive personality, palate richness, elegance and intense, long-lasting, balanced flavours to delight the senses. Showing great complexity with notes of mocha coffee, dried spice, dark plums and well-integrated oak leading to a long, lingering finish. Decant for 45 minutes and serve at 16-17°C. 

A complex Rioja red, made only in the best vintages.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this season; and over the next 6-8 years. 

SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine pairing with slow roasted, bbq’d or grilled prime meats, duck-confit, hearty stews and mature hard cheeses, enjoy.