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Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva 1997

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    A brilliant ruby red wine with brick-red highlights, Montecillo Reserva is well structured and balanced, with plenty of body and length and an elegantly youthful bouquet. As befits a Reserva Rioja, it is made from tempranillo grapes which are harvested in the Rioja Alta area.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bodegas Montecillo

    Bodegas Montecillo

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    Bodegas Montecillo, Rioja, Spain
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    In 1874, Bodegas Montecillo was founded by Celestino Navajas in La Rioja Alta. It is therefore one of the longest established wineries in the Rioja and with the greatest tradition in the making of wines protected by this Denominacion de Origen.

    More than 130 years after it was founded, Bodegas Montecillo strictly adheres to its prime objective: to produce natural and full red wines with personality by carefully selecting the raw material, the grape, and by allowing its wines to naturally age and mature in their bottles. This results in a highly consistent level of quality year after year.

    The winemaker, Mercedes Garcia Ruperez, has a degree in Oenology from the University of La Rioja and in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Madrid. On top of that, she has a master's degree in Oenology and Viticulture, also from the University of Madrid.

    Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. 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 higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

    Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), 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, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

    White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

    Tempranillo

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    Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

    In the Glass

    Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

    Perfect Pairings

    Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these 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 naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

    VWC3829_1997 Item# 54080