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A rare, single-varietal bottling of tempranillo from a vineyard lying at 700 metres altitude inthe northern part of the Alta district. This is the most Atlantic-influenced part of Riojawhich, combined with the high altitude, results in an intense, exquisite red balanced bywonderful acidity and freshness. Modern-style Rioja in its finest form.
Product Code: SP14691
View all products by Bodega Gómez Cruzado
This old bodega was founded in 1886 by a Mexican nobleman who set up in the Barrio Estacion (station district) of Haro, thus creating what is now the third-oldest Rioja bodega, and began bottling his own wines. The company was bought in 1916 by Riojan natives Ángel and Jesús Gómez Cruzado, who renamed the business in the style which we know it today, and in 1990 the bodega changed hands once more when the Baños family from Badarán, south of Haro, bought it. This almost bring matters full circle as the family now live in Mexico!Today the bodega is run by a young Riojan winemaker, David Gonzáles, and viticulturist Juan Antonio Leza Martinez, who have done much to lift the company out of the doldrums into which it had slipped over the years, improving quality through attention to detail and a preparedness to innovate and experiment since their tenure began in 2008. They make a small range of wines and aim for finesse and complexity and the range includes wines that are very much in the classical (e.g. their reserva) and modern styles (single-vineyard bottlings), made from carefully tended vines across 100 plots.
Rioja sits shielded in northern Spain between the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. Both of these rocky ranges play their part in creating a suitable climate for the production of fine wines, shielding the region from cold winds from the Atlantic and hot winds from the Mediterranean.Rioja is split into three sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Rioja Alavesa – Bounded in the north by the craggy Sierra de la Cantabria and in the south by the Ebro river, and sitting in the foothills of the former, Rioja Alavesa feels a distinct Atlantic influence on its weather, despite the protection of the mountains. It has twice the rainfall of Rioja Baja to the south-east and enjoys cooler temperatures on average. The classic Rioja mainstay tempranillo is king here and makes up more than 80% of plantings, supported by garnacha, mazuelo (aka carignan elsewhere) and graciano for red wines, and viura, malvasia and garnacha blanca for whites. Chalk and clay soils proliferate. Generally, the wines of Rioja Alavesa are considered the most finely balanced of Rioja reds.Rioja Alta – Elegant reds are considered the hallmark of Alta wines. A great chunk of the major producers are based in Rioja Alta, concentrated on the town of Haro. Warmer and a bit drier than Alavesa, it also enjoys slightly hotter, more Mediterranean influenced summers and has a range of clay based soils. The reddish, iron rich clays provide a nurturing home for tempranillo while those bearing a chalkier element support the white viura well. Alluvial soils closer to the river are often home to malvasia for blending in to whites. In this area mazuelo is a regular addition to Rioja blends, providing some tannic sinew and beefing up the colour, and the reds here will often take a more significant underpinning of oak.Rioja Baja – Most of Rioja Baja is south of the Ebro and further south and east of its neighbouring sub-regions. Summers in Rioja Baja are more often than not very warm and dry, with vineyards at lower elevations than its neighbours. Consequently soils are predominantly silt and other alluvial deposits with little chalk present, and garnacha reigns supreme among the red varieties because of its ability to deal almost effortlessly with the heat. As a rule, reds from Baja are higher in alcohol and less elegant than in Alavesa and Alta, though of course there are always exceptions and particularly so as viticulture and winemaking improves with every passing year.RIOJA CLASSIFICATIONS AND STYLES EXPLAINED The official Rioja classification is a guarantee of the amount of ageing a wine has undergone. Usually the best wines receive the longest maturation but this does not guarantee quality, which is why it is just as important to follow producer. Crianza: Minimum two years (with at least 12 months in barrel)Reserva: Minimum three years (at least 12 months in barrel)Gran Reserva: Minimum five years (at least 24 months in barrel)What can be confusing is that producers use different ageing techniques (for example some might use American oak, others French, others a mix of both) which will influence the style, structure and flavour of the wine. To help you find the style you like we have split the wines into the following designations. Traditional: Fragrant, silky wines from long ageing in cask (usually American oak) and bottle; ready to drink on release. Modern-classical: Younger, rounder wines that retain the delicious character of Rioja through cask ageing (often a mix of American and French oak) with the structure to develop in bottle. Modern: Richer, velvety wines aged for less time in newer (usually) French oak; released earlier and may need keeping.
The 2015 harvest in Spain looks pretty good everywhere. The summer was continuously hot and dry, so even if in some areas the volume of production is down (smaller grapes due to evaporation and the fruit contracting with the heat) things look healthy. Rioja had the earliest harvest on record – three weeks earlier than usual – and tempranillo was picked at full ripeness in the northern sub-districts. These wines have a long way to go until they are released onto the market. In Ribera del Duero the season was also, like Rioja, hot and dry and the harvest was smaller than 2014 by 30% or so. Older vines, with their deeper roots were able to find moisture more readily than young vines.In Galicia hot, dry conditions were alleviated in August when a little rain fell and a little rot crept in to some vineyards. However, the harvest took place in mid-September in excellent conditions and has proved to be very overall.
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JancisRobinson.com 9th Aug 2019
"Perhaps not as
open-knit as their Reserva, and there's definitely more tannin and
concentration on the palate. Modern and heavily layered, but still recognisably
Rioja. Perhaps trying a little too hard, resulting in an extracted bitterness
on the finish. 17/20 - Richard Hemming MW"
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