Grape: 65% Tempranillo, 35% Graciano
Vineyard location: Tempranillo is cultivated between Fuenmayor and Medrano, and Graciano is from Laguardia.
Winemaker: Bodegas Montecillo.
Harvest: By hand into small cases. Tempranillo is picked during the second week of October, and Graciano at the end of the month.
Fermentation and Pressing: Each varietal is fermented in separate stainless tanks at the controlled temperature of 26°C, for 20 days. During this period the must is continuously pumped over to extract colour and structure. After this, the grapes are lightly crushed rather than hard pressed – following the the traditional method of “Sangrado”, or bleeding – so the grapes release the “lagrimas”, or tears.
Malolactic fermentation: In small cement vats.
Oak ageing (oxidative): Each varietal is transferred into separate French oak barrels, where they mature for 22 months. At the next stage, both varietals are joined together and they mature for 6 more month, already as a single wine.
Bottle ageing: Finally, the wine is bottled and matures in the bottle for 18 months before is is released to the market, to develop complex tertiary aromas.
ABV: 13.5% vol
Residual sugar: 1.8 g/l
Acidity: 5.7 g/l
Appearance: Deep ruby colour.
Nose: Pronounced nose with aromas of black fruits (black plums,
blackberries), liquorice, with hints of pastry and biscuit. Aromas of vanilla and smoke from ageing in oak.
Palate: Dry wine, with medium alcohol and body. Sweet ripe and robust tannins, fresh acidity, balanced and with a long finish.
Verdict: “Very Good” (balanced, long finish, pronounced aromatic intensity)
Pairings: This powerful and elegant Rioja works best with red meat dishes: beef or venison steaks or beef burgers.
Serving temperature: Room temperature, or 18 ° C
Storage: In a cool place, away from direct sunlight, bright artificial light or heat sources
Ranking & Awards
- Silver Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 (2013 vintage)
- Bronze Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 (2011 vintage)
- “Commended”, Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 (2010 vintage)
- 92 pts: International Wine Challenge (2011 vintage)
- 91 pts: Andreas Larsson (2011 vintage)