Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja 2004
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Manual harvesting into 12-kilo crates of grapes from vineyards with an average age of 65 years. Controlled temperature in specially designed cooling chambers prior to fermentation for a period of 24 hours (4-6 degrees). Grape selection table; stemmed upper part of clusters. Fermentation in small stainless steel vats and French-oak wooden vats with capacity for 7000litres. Malolactic in new oak cask.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. A highly perfumed, expressive bouquet of raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices, with subtle smokiness. Acts more like an '05 than an '04, offering lively red fruit and spice flavors and a hint of candied rose. Rich but lithe, with very good finishing clarity and superb length. This is delicious now but built to age."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Fincas de Ganuza Reserva is composed of 90% Tempranillo and10% Graciano both from old vines. It is aged for 25 months in 50% new French and American oak before bottling without fining or filtration. A glass-coating opaque purple, the aromatic array includes earth notes, mineral, incense, black cherry, and blackberry. This leads to a mouth-filling, intensely flavored wine with good grip, excellent depth, and enough structure to evolve for several more years. This lengthy effort will deliver prime drinking from 2011 to 2019. "
Wine Spectator - "Rich yet fresh, this red delivers cherry, licorice, chocolate and olive flavors over firm tannins balanced by lively acidity. The oak is well-integrated, the finish clean. Drink now through 2014. 500 cases imported."
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Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Winery
This Fernando Remirez de Ganuza's almost 60 hectares of parcels that have been acquiring are distributed in four localities of Alava Rioja: Samaniego, Leza, Elciego, and Laguardia.
In Remirez de Ganuza, one works with fifty hectares of tempranillo (90%) and graciano (10%) located in privileged enclaves of the Alava vineyard.
The deciding factors to obtain a great wine are: the habitat, the microclimate, the direction of the parcels, the low productivity of the stocks and teh age of the vineyard.
The winery is located in the same center of the beautiful town of Samaniego. The splendid big rambling house includes an apple of buildings and is equipped with modern reinforced concrete structures covered with stone of ashlar masonry of between about two or three hundred years of antiquity.
About RiojaView a map of Rioja wineries (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.
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