El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2001
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
2001 is one of the top rated Rioja vintages in recent memory. Weather was hot and extremely dry throughout the growing season resulting in wines of great concentration and extraction. The 2001 is dark in color while showing the early stages of maturity around the edges. Polished and refined on the palate with notes of cherry, cedar, tobacco and leather.
Wine Enthusiast - "Toasty and elegant from the beginning. The nose breathes Christmas spice and mature berry fruits, while the palate deals a persistent structure and acidity for added spine. Tastes a little rooty and savory, with root beer and chocolate notes to the finish."
Wine & Spirits - "Explosive scents of woodland herbs, chokecherries and ripe cherry tomatoes mark the juicy, satisfying flavors of this wine. It has persistence of flavor without excess weight, an elegant and supple memory of cherries. Classical Rioja, this is ready for cabrito asado."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2001 Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva (from a superb Rioja vintage) is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano aged for 24 months in American oak followed by several years of bottle aging prior to release (the expense of so-doing being one reason why many Rioja producers have abandoned the Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva traditional system of oak and bottle aging). It is a complex, restrained, sophisticated offering featuring a bouquet of dried fruits, incense, and floral notes. Smooth-textured, still fresh (from its firm acid structure), and impeccably balanced..."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Intense aromas of briary red berries, cherry-vanilla, tobacco and smoky oak spices. Elegant and silky in texture, with bright cherry and redcurrant flavors and no excess weight. Very clean, precise and nervy Rioja, with strong finishing cut, good length and resonating spiciness."
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El Coto Winery
The first wines of El Coto de Rioja were introduced to the Spanish market with the 1970 vintage in 1975. So great was their success that two years later, the decision to double the capacity of the wine maturing in their cellars was taken in order to export part of the production. Their growth has continued unabated for 25 years, and now El Coto has been launched in the United States market through Frederick Wildman and Sons. Today, the world is looking for wines with character and elegance; moderate in alcohol content, well balanced and harmonious with refined cuisine. El Coto is an excellent example of a new generation of quality Spanish wines, which conforms to prevailing tastes. View all El Coto Wines
About Rioja(ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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