Ysios Reserva 2004
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Attractive ruby red colour. Good intensity on the nose. Ripe, dark fruit aromas with a marked, elegant reminder of toasted oak. Supple and concentrated on the palate with well assembled tannins. Good balance and a long, very persistent finish.
Thanks to its acidity and smooth mouth-feel this wine will go well with virtually any dish. It is a good red wine for oily fish, and of course with meat and game.
Wine Enthusiast - "Ysios is the wavy-roofed, Calatrava-designed winery that graces all those postcards from Rioja. But over the years this Pernod Ricard property has struggled with consistency. Nevertheless, the 2004 is probably the best wine to date from Ysios; it offers creamy but fresh berry aromas backed by cherry, raspberry and plum flavors. With mocha and chocolate on the finish, it has a bit of everything that we’re looking for. Just shy of the 90-point range, but like we said, it’s Ysios’ best wine so far."
Wine Spectator - "Smoke and tar notes frame plum, mineral and chocolate flavors in this generous red. Maturing now, but the firm tannins keep it focused. Drink now through 2011. 2,500 cases imported."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red. Ripe cherry and plum aromas are brightened by floral and smoky mineral qualities. Smooth, fleshy and open-knit, offering gently sweet cherry and dark berry flavors and solid grip. Slightly gritty tannins build with air and carry through the focused, juicy finish."
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The bodega is located in the Carravacas estate (Laguardia) right in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa.
The bodega farms a total cultivated area of vineyards that is over 123 acres of Tempranillo with an average age of 25 to 30 years. These vineyards are divided into 12 lots that are harvested by hand and the grapes are vinified separately so that each lot can express all of its unique character.
Diego Pinilla, joined Ysios when it was still at the drawing board stage. He has been involved from the outset in the design of the cellar building and the conception of the wine. This will be his fourth vintage at Ysios. "For me, it is vital that the wine should have great delicacy and elegance on the nose. With Ysios Vendimia Seleccionada we have achieved a velvety, syrupy wine with a long finish. A modern wine, but clearly a Rioja"
- Diego Pinilla
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.