Bodegas La Emperatriz Finca La Emperatriz Rioja Reserva 2007
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Reserva 2007 is ruby red in color, very bright, with a light-red eye (robe). It has a highly intense aroma and bouquet, with the bouquet of vanilla, cigar box, and caramel from the aging process is immediately noticeable. Upon further appraisal, the varietal aromas such as blackberries, plums, and orange peel come forward. When the wine opens up in the cup, the red and black fruit aromas that are characteristic of Tempranillo appear. It is a very elegant wine, with intensity in the mouth, good acidity, and with a strong middle palate. The tannins are very polished and rounded. The wine's finish is fruity and lightly spiced. It is pleasant to drink and does not saturate the palate.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Finca La Emperatriz Reserva comes from 60-year-old bush vines. It has a melted, sensual nose of macerated red cherries, a hint of sloes and eau-de-vie. There is just the right amount of volatility to lend it lift without diminishing the freshness. The palate is rounded and sumptuous in the mouth with cranberry, wild strawberry and red currant mingling with Asian spices and tobacco. The finish is very composed, with impressive weight and length, but does not outstay its welcome. This is a very fine Reserva that should age well over the next decade. Drink now-2022. Bodegas La Emperatriz, named after its 19th century owner “Eugenia de Montijo” (the wife of Napoleon III), is located in Rioja Alta. It is owned by Victor and Eduardo Hernaiz, and the present winemaker is David Gonzalez. Theirs is a hugely impressive portfolio that singles out specific parcels and terroirs, though you should not ignore their excellent Crianza and Reserva. Factor in a wallet-friendly price and you have a winning formula. "
Bodegas La Emperatriz Winery
La Emperatriz is a winery located in the DOC Rioja denomination, more precisely in the very north-west, in the Rioja Alta region. The special climate of the region is defined by its geography and is perfect for high quality viticulture in the vineyard's stony terroir. This particular combination of soil and climate produces elegant and complex wines with a very specific character.
The project is today managed by brothers Eduardo and Victor Hernáiz, although the origins of the estate go way back to the 19th century. At that time, under the ownership of Eugenia de Montijo, the Empress of France, the estate was already producing excellent wines. View all Bodegas La Emperatriz Wines
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 & 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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