Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2008
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
The Wine Advocate - "Even better is the outstanding, Pomerol-like 2008 Reserva Unica, which is made from 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano, aged nearly two years in a combination of French and American oak. An unfiltered selection of the estate’s finest barrels, it offers up scents of wet gravel, scorched earth, sweet black currants, plums and hints of mocha and white chocolate. This lush, medium to full-bodied, layered, sexy..."
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid ruby. High-pitched aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry and spicecake are complemented by a subtle smoky nuance. Zesty, precise sweet red berry flavors display very good depth and focus. Picks up a note of allspice with air and finishes with silky tannins and very good persistence."
Wine Spectator - "This round red delivers toasty and smoky notes around a core of cherry and coffee flavors, with accents of dried herbs and spices. Well-balanced, featuring integrated tannins and good acidity."
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Sierra Cantabria Winery
Founded by Guillermo Eguren, who is a self-made "bodeguero", coming from a family tradition of vine growers. Today, the fourth generation of the Eguren family, Marcos Eguren, is the winemaker and director of the winery. Sierra Cantabria has come to the forefront of Spanish wineries in the last 15 years. This is from the extreme care that they give to their vineyards, located in the best terrain of Rioja, the savoir-faire of Marcos Eguren, and his price-conscious policies. Vineyards are located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, one of the most famous towns in Rioja, known for the quality of its grapes. The grapes are sourced on 267 acres (108 ha), from 1,440-1,740 ft. above sea level (480-580 m), spread among the towns of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Labastida, and Laguardia. The proportions of grapes are 91% Tempranillo, 3% Malvasia, and 6% Viura. 75% of the production comes from their own vineyards, the rest they buy from local growers. They have been doing ecologically conscious agriculture in their own vineyards for the last 12 years. Average production 0.5 t/acre (hectare is 5,000 kg). The soil is composed of Clay-lime, the best soil of Rioja. The climate is Continental, with the influence of winds from the Atlantic, but protected from more severe weather by the Sierra Cantabria Mountains View all Sierra Cantabria 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.
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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