Remelluri La Granja Rioja Gran Reserva 2009
Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
Spice box of aromas reminiscent of tobacco, sandalwood and pencil lead. The palate is grand and gains presence with aeration. Good length and great finesse.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Ruby-red. Highly perfumed, expansive bouquet of dark berries, potpourri and smoky Indian spices, with a strong mineral quality emerging with air. Powerful yet lithe and precise on the palate, offering intensely sweet, vibrant black raspberry, vanilla and rose pastille flavors. This sweet, seamless, concentrated Rioja shows wonderful finishing energy, with smooth tannins folding effortlessly into the wine's intense fruit. A standout wine from one of the great Rioja vintages of recent years."
The Wine Advocate - "Last year I tasted the Reserva and it's now time for the 2009 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva, which will be released worldwide around September (and therefore the price is approximate).This is a category they had not produced since 2005 and only bottled in exceptional vintages (1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005). In their mountain vineyards (500 to 800 meters altitude), the 2009 season saw a cold and long winter with enough snow that provided enough water for a warm summer. It's a blend of the traditional Rioja grapes, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and the whites Viura and Malvasía. As in the past, all red wines contained a more or less small amount of white grapes and despite being considered modern when their first released their wines, today they are as classical as it gets. The wine fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of small stainless-steel and oak vats then matured in French oak barrels of different sizes and ages for about 17 months. It is a ripe and well-oaked red, with plenty of spice and a medium to full-bodied palate and, while approachable, it should improve in bottle. I'd wait at least one year before pulling the cork, at which time the oak will probably be better integrated. This vintage was not fully produced by Telmo, so it's kind of a transition wine where you still find a bit too much new oak. From 2010 onward this wine changes, it should be produced every year and have a significant percentage of Garnacha and less new oak, perhaps after aging in large barrels. 20,000 bottles produced. I visited the historical property of Remelluri, an estate On the outskirts of the village of Labastida in Álava. It is the source of one of the first modern Rioja wines created by Jaime Rodríguez and his wife Amaya Hernandorena in 1968. The full name of the company is Granja Nuestra Señora de Remelluri, Farm of Our Lady of Remelluri, as it had been a small settlement created in the 10th century. They have the remaining of a wine lagar and a necropolis from those early years. The estate was later turned in to a monastical farm by Jerónimo monks in the fourteenth century. After some changes in ownership, the property was finally purchased by the Rodríguez family in 1967 when it had 20 hectares of vineyards. The land under vine today is 108 hectares, and the Rodríguez family, whose scion Telmo Rodríguez is now back at the helm after creating his own company, are behind one of the first château-style wines in Spain. I could see the changes by Telmo and the new team (winemaker Pablo Eguzkiza in back), but it' still work in progress. The best is yet to come. "
Founded by Jaime Rodriguez Salis in 1968, in what were the ruins of a farm that belonged to a monastery from the 14th-century, the winery was a pioneer of the estate-bottled Rioja wines and the concept of "terroir". It is the first winery in Rioja in modern history to bottle wine only from its own vineyards. The vineyards are located in the town of Labastida in Rioja Alavesa, in a natural amphitheater between the mountains of Toloño and San Cristobal, in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria, 2,100 ft. (700 m) above sea level. This is the highest elevation vineyard in Rioja. The vineyards are planted on 173 acres (70 ha) of well-drained slopes with excellent exposure to the sun. They are protected from west winds but open to some north winds, which help lower the risk of pests that result from humidity. The yield is approximately 4,500-5,000 kg/ha, where in Rioja the average is 6,500 kg/ha. When harvesting, the fruit from vines younger than 7 years is not allowed to be part of the final blend. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are used. Low yields and a high rate of selection at harvest are goals of this property. The soil is chalk-clay in different proportions. These vineyards are a result of the decomposition of the mountain. The climate is typical of mild summers, cold winters; big temperature changes between day and night, with snow common in winter. Temperatures can be as low as 23°F View all Remelluri 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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