Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2016
Traditionally styled Rioja Reserva. Balsamic aromatics, complemented by undertones of red berries and earthiness. Notes of licorice and spice emerge on the palate.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep ruby. A deeply perfumed bouquet displays an array of ripe dark fruits and pungent flowers, along with oak spice, vanilla and coconut accents that emerge with aeration. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering concentrated, spice-tinged blackberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors and a subtle licorice nuance. Finishes supple, sweet and very long, with steadily building tannins that meld smoothly with the wine's intense dark fruit.
A selection from parcels in Abalos, the Ramírez de la Piscina family’s home town, and San Vicente de la Sonsierra, both in Rioja Alta, this is a youthfully intense 2016. It builds power out of sour cherry and ripe black-cherry flavors, the savory tannins of the grape skins adding chewiness and a gamey note. Suited to several years of development in the cellar, this is an impressive value.
This shows tightness and balance with energy. Black fruit with mushroom and earth. Some cocoa, too. It’s medium-bodied with firm tannins and a fresh, linear finish. Drink or hold.
Bright violet. Mineral-tinged red and blue fruit preserve and floral scents are complemented by hints of vanilla, tobacco and licorice. Sappy, expansive black raspberry and blueberry flavors smoothly blend weight and energy and pick up an allspice nuance on the back half. Closes long and appealingly sweet, with round, even tannin's and an echo of sappy blue fruit.
Compact berry aromas are spicy and a touch fiery, but nothing that time in the glass can’t tame. A racy palate with fresh acidity and overall purity tastes of plum, currant, baking spices and vanilla, while this is smooth and classy on a harmonious finish. Drink through 2025.
The name Ramírez de la Piscina traces its lineage back to the Navarra Kings who fought in the First Crusade during the 11th century. In early 1945, Julio Ramírez de la Piscina, followed the tradition inherited from his parents in Ábalos, and continued cultivating the family vineyards in San Vicente de la Sonsierra and began producing traditional Rioja wines. In 1961, Julio moved to Bilbao with his wife Angela and began selling his wine in the old Bodeguilla Riojana in the Plaza del Corazón de María.
In 1973, Bodegas Ramírez was officially founded and began to sell bottled wine under this name. In 1980, the fourth generation of the Ramírez de la Piscina family took over management of the winery, and in 1987, the name was changed to Bodegas Ramírez de la Piscina. The name change honors the family's historic surname, which is an ancient aristocratic Medieval Riojan name, originating from a 12th Century Romanesque church nearby the vineyards called Santa María de la Piscina.
All of the vineyards are estate owned and the vast majority of the plantings are Tempranillo on high density trellis. The oldest Tempranillo vineyards are head trained, and the family owns a few small plants of Garnacha, Viura, and Malvasia, that are used for the Rosado and Blanco. Ramirez de la Piscina champions the tradition of ageing classified, traditional styled Rioja.
Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.
Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.