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Breton Lorinon Crianza Rioja 1996

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    A superb vintage, ripe and velvety, classic Rioja Alta: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Mazuelo, 5% Graciano and 5% Garnacha.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Breton

    Bodegas Breton

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    Bodegas Breton, Rioja, Spain
    Bodegas Breton was founded in 1983, their state-of-the-art winemaking facility completed in 1985 just prior to that year's harvest. Although of relatively recent origin, Breton takes a decidedly traditional approach. The philosophical objective is preservation of the elegant, concentrated "Rioja Alta" style and the longevity for which traditional Riojas are famous. Modern tendencies result in Rioja wines of accelerated evolution (lower acidity) for earlier consumption.

    The Breton partnership includes a 100-acre estate called Vina Lorinon just outside of Lorgrono along the south bank of the Ebro River, with 45 acres of mature vines. Breton properties also include the fabulous Dominio de Conte, a textbook 55acre vineyard on a protected horseshoe bend of the Ebro near Briones, in the very heart of Rioja Alta. Overall average vineyard age is 27 years - the highest of any major Rioja producer - grape varieties consisting mainly of Tempranillo, with Mazuelo, Graciano, Garnacha, Viura, and Malvasia. The Logrono and Briones vineyards together provide an ideal balance of ripe fruit and acidity.

    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.

    SHC0034542_1996 Item# 29138