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Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2007

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • JS91
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

Reserva 2007 is ruby red in color, very bright, with a light-red eye(robe). It has a highly intense aroma and bouquet, with the bouquet of vanilla, cigar box, and caramel from the aging process is immediately noticeable. Upon further appraisal, the varietal aromas such as blackberries, plums, and orange peel come forward. When the wine opens up in the cup, the red and black fruitaromas that are characteristic of Tempranillo appear. It is a very elegant wine, with intensity in the mouth, good acidity, and with a strong middle palate. The tannins are very polished and rounded. The wine's finish is fruity and lightly spiced. It is pleasant to drink and does not saturate the palate.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Finca La Emperatriz Reserva comes from 60-year-old bush vines. It has a melted, sensual nose of macerated red cherries, a hint of sloes and eau-de-vie. There is just the right amount of volatility to lend it lift without diminishing the freshness. The palate is rounded and sumptuous in the mouth with cranberry, wild strawberry and red currant mingling with Asian spices and tobacco. The finish is very composed, with impressive weight and length, but does not outstay its welcome. This is a very fine Reserva that should age well over the next decade. Drink now-2022. Bodegas La Emperatriz, named after its 19th century owner “Eugenia de Montijo” (the wife of Napoleon III), is located in Rioja Alta. It is owned by Victor and Eduardo Hernaiz, and the present winemaker is David Gonzalez. Theirs is a hugely impressive portfolio that singles out specific parcels and terroirs, though you should not ignore their excellent Crianza and Reserva. Factor in a wallet-friendly price and you have a winning formula.
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Finca La Emperatriz

Finca La Emperatriz

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Finca La Emperatriz, Rioja, Spain
La Emperatriz is a winery located in the DOC Rioja denomination, more precisely in the very north-west, in the Rioja Alta region. The special climate of the region is defined by its geography and is perfect for high quality viticulture in the vineyard's stony terroir. This particular combination of soil and climate produces elegant and complex wines with a very specific character.

The project is today managed by brothers Eduardo and Victor Hernáiz, although the origins of the estate go way back to the 19th century. At that time, under the ownership of Eugenia de Montijo, the Empress of France, the estate was already producing excellent wines.

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.


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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.

TGI13195_2007 Item# 126737