Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Crianza 2009
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Deep ruby red with a pale violet rim. On the nose the characteristic Sonsierra red fruits combine with touches of spicy wood. In the mouth it is tasty, spicy and structured, with hints of vanilla and coffee and a good balance between wine and oak. The finish is long with a pronounced back taste.
Pairs well with red and white meat, roast lamb, pork, beef, game, poultry, stews, rice dishes, pulses, mushrooms and mature or blue cheese.
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Enticing aromas of dark berries, cherry incense, oak spices and pungent flowers. Sweet cherry-vanilla and blackberry flavors show good clarity and energy thanks to zesty acidity and a spicy element. Puts on weight with air and finishes with smooth, even tannins and lingering notes of mocha and dark berries."
Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Winery
The name Ramírez de la Piscina traces its lineage back to the Navarra Kings who fought in the First Crusade during the 11th century. Included among this noble ancestry is the famous Cid Campeador. The name is also strongly embedded in the small village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, which is centrally located in the Sonsierra lands, in the heart of La Rioja Alta.
Bodegas Ramírez de la Piscina elaborates its wines with grapes proceeding from its own vineyards located in Abalos and from other very carefully selected estates. View all Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina 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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