Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2009
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Remelluri Reserva is the original Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri estate wine, fruit of the most important vineyards of the property. Great black fruit aromas with complex spiciness. The palate is beautiful with a rich brooding texture.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Remelluri Reserva aims at showing the character of Remelluri, as this is the first modern vintage that does not have grapes purchased from external suppliers. These grapes are now in the Lindes range of wines, but in the past they were blended with the estate grapes. The cool Remelluri vineyards behave very well in warmer years. This 2009 is very clean with predominant aromas of earthy red fruit intermixed with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, a satin texture with round, fine-grained tannins and quite classical and very well-proportioned style. This is a great vintage for Remelluri Reserva."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby. Sexy, floral- and mineral-accented red fruit aromas pick up a smoky nuance with air. Lithe and precise, offering sweet raspberry and cherry flavors that gain weight and power in the glass. Very young but promising, with excellent finishing clarity and sweet, gently tannic persistence. Shows an impressively graceful character for the vintage."
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 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.