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Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2007

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • W&S92
14% ABV
  • WS93
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP91
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3.5 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intense Tempranillo character is apparent in an elegant and pure wine only lightly influenced by the oak. Medium weight on the palate with a lingering, slightly dusty finish that promises excellent development in the bottle. Aged 15 months in primarily American oak.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Condado de Haza, part of the Pesquera group, focuses its production on a hillside vineyard of gravel and limestone, planted towards the end of the 1980's by Alejandro Fernández. The vines tend to give wines of great concentration and aging potential — like this intense Tempranillo with mineral aromas and surprisingly fresh cherry scents. The delicious fruit bathes in tannins as firm as steel. Give this five years in the cellar for that structure to mellow.
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Condado de Haza

Condado de Haza

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Condado de Haza, , Spain
Condado de Haza
In 1972, Alejandro Fernández and his wife Esperanza Rivera of Pesquera de Duero initiated the renaissance of Spain's Ribera del Duero appellation with the area's first modern wire-trained vineyard, their Viña Alta in Pesquera. In the mid-1980s as Tinto Pesquera was assuming its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which had the appearance of being the most ideal vineyard site in the region, perhaps in all Spain: One full kilometer of southfacing mountain slope leading right to the river's edge. Ideal soils in the full range preferred by the Tempranillo variety, from gravel to clay with a chalky base, suggested the potential for a multitude of styles from this difficult grape, essential for creating the desired complexity and balance.

Abandoned for years, the slope consisted of hundreds of small parcels with separate and stubborn ownership. Three years of continuous negotiation beginning in late 1986 resulted in the first planting of just over 100 acres in 1989. Today the contiguous estate includes over 500 acres of prime Tempranillo vines. Encompassed within the historic county of the hilltop village Haza high above the opposite bank of the Duero, the estate was christened Condado de Haza.

Condado de Haza reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández, unrivaled master of Spain's Tempranillo variety. Bottled after malolactic fermentation and 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera it can be enjoyed early yet will reward patient cellaring.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

OPC89748_2007 Item# 110031

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