Made from the stellar 2009 vintage with 100% Tempranillo, this wine has a very long ageing time (for Crianza) of 15 months in new French and American barriques. Classic Alavesa expression of the variety, with deep colour, licorice, leather, black fruits, pronounced oak and chalky tannins. Good capacity to age, with excellent structure, fruit weight and balance. Modern style Rioja at its’ best. Drink now to 12 years. 94 points.
About the Winery:
This modern, state of the art winery is located at the base of the spectacular Sierra Cantabria Mountains in the Basque region of Rioja Alavesa. After 7 generations of the family in the wine industry, Teodoro Unzalu and Maria Felisa Gaztelurrutia built their first family winery in 1978 in the town of Villabuena. After many successful years they finally outgrew the facility and in 2005 moved the operation to their current site (15km from the original location). The business is now run by their three children (Iker, Unax, and Usuri). Winemaking and viticulture is coordinated by Iker Unzalu Gaztelurrutia, a highly experienced enologist with training both in Rioja and Bordeaux. The style of winemaking is reminiscent of Bordeaux with emphasis on low yields, high quality cooperage, technology and highly structured wines. The Tempranillo based wines are the highlight of this impressive bodega.
Rioja Alavesa, Spain.
Rioja is located in the north west of Spain and is it’s most important wine producing region. The region is divided into three zones running along the Ebro river, “Rioja Baja”(mainly red Garnacha based wines) and “Rioja Alta/Alavesa” (arguably the finest zone for the red Tempranillo grape)-. Rioja Alta/Alavesa is located in the Basque domininant North West of the country around the winemaking town of Haro. The epicenter of the Rioja region is the city of Logroño, and winemaking has flourished in the area since the Christian conquest of the Moors in the 15h century. The best vineyards lie on the slopes abutting the Sierra de Cantabria (mountains) at altitudes ranging from 300-800m. Although 7 varieties of grapes are grown in Rioja, it is the black grape Tempranillo that has thrived on these clay and limestone soils. Although there has been renewed interest in the Graciano (endemic black grape), Viura (White-Macabeo) and Verdejo (White-Verdehlo) also grown here.
The style of Red Rioja has broad international appeal. The wines are usually aged in oak barriques (mainly American oak) and have wonderful structure with appealing vanillan, slighty savoury complexity. No wonder people call this region the “most progressive winemaking region in Europe”.
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