Conde de Hervias Rioja 2008
Lovely floral undertones mingling with spices from the oak. Flavors are of ripe black berries and rose petals. The palate is velvety, surprisingly delicate and lengthy.
Pairs well with pork loin, steak, red peppers.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Conde de Hervías is a unique and specialized winery in northern Rioja Alta, where the sole focus is producing single-vineyard wines of the highest quality from historic vineyards in the village of Torremontalbo. Íñigo Manso de Zúñiga Ugartechea and his wife Yolanda Garcúa Viadero work highly prestigious plots of pre-phylloxera vines which surround their home in Torremontalbo; an incredible structure built in 1252. Íñigo studied Enology at the University of Bordeaux, where this training taught him to respect balance and restraint over power and concentration. His terroir-focused philosophy at the estate focuses on harvesting grapes at their ideal, balanced ripeness. Íñigo and Yolanda have spent a lifetime making wine in diverse regions throughout Spain and apply the sum of their experience and passion to this small, artisanal project. Conde de Hervías currently stands as one of the most classically unique and elegant interpretations of Rioja (miles away from the mass-produced Rioja wines found in Haro). Las Arenillas is one of the most famous pre-phylloxera sites in Rioja, with vines planted on their original rootstock in 1864 by Don Nicanor Manso de Zúñiga, the Count of Hervías, and his brother Don Victor Cruz, founder of the oenology station of Haro. To their amazement, these vines of the Las Arenillas vineyard survived the phylloxera epidemic, due to the sandy nature of the soil. These vines were used in the replanting of Rioja following the phylloxera crisis. The vines surrounding the estate carry an irreplaceable genetic heritage, pre-dating the industrialization of Rioja. These vines were used to plant all of the other single-vineyards at the estate. Íñigo utilizes the traditional bush training method for all of his vineyards, which helps preserve acidity and freshness in the wines and guard against heat damage.
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.