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Finca Allende 2006

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The wine is stainless-steel fermented for approximately 22 days, then transferred to 98% new French Allier and 2% American Oak barrels, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. It is then aged for 14 months. The wine is lightly fined, and then bottled unfiltered.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Finca Allende

    Finca Allende

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    Finca Allende, Rioja, Spain
    2006
    Records from 1672 prove that the De Gregorio family has been involved in viticulture and winemaking for several centuries. In fact, Nicholas De Gregorio was for almost 40 years the vineyard manager for the oldest winery in Rioja, Marques de Murrieta. He is a zealous defender of the traditional Rioja grape varieties such as Graciano and Malvasia. Miguel Angel De Gregorio graduated from the University of Madrid with degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Enology. He has proven in his short career as winemaker to several other wineries to be an innovator in Rioja. Vineyards are located in Briones, Rioja Alta, on the right bank of Ebro River. Grapes are sourced on the family's estate of 60 acres (25 ha) in Briones. Vineyards are situated on both slopes on the hill. Some vineyards face north/northeast, others face south/southeast. The grapes are multi-clonal selections of old Tempranillo which produce smaller berries and yields. The vineyards are 1,440-1,680 feet in elevation(480 to 560 m). The soil has a top layer of calcareous clay over gravel which dates from the quaternary period, located on the 2nd and 3rd terraces of the Ebro River. The climate is typical of Rioja Alta, continental with Atlantic influences. Rains are normally in the winter and spring, with the prevailing winds from the north/northeast. Therefore, this creates two distinct microclimates for the vineyards because of their different exposures.

    Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

    Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

    Tempranillo

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    Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

    In the Glass

    Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

    Perfect Pairings

    Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

    Sommelier Secret

    The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

    TEM1290_2006 Item# 114485

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