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Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2009

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Purple with ruby highlights, this wine shows up-front aromas of raspberries and black cherries with undertones of leather and spice. On the palate, it is expansive and rich.

Pair with lamb and apricot tajines, prime rib, tomato stews, or green lentil-based dishes.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Finca Valpiedra Reserva had something of a Bordeaux air to it, with tobacco leaf aromas intermixed with blackberries and a minty touch. It must have been the 4% Maturana Tinta that complemented the 92% Tempranillo and 4% Graciano that made up the blend. Save that, the rest is quite updated classic Rioja, the spiciness from the oak and the polished mouthfeel. It matured in French oak barrels for some 22 months. Cleaner and fresher than previous vintages I tasted.
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Finca Valpiedra

Finca Valpiedra

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Finca Valpiedra, Rioja, Spain
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Finca Valpiedra winery is owned by the Familia Martínez-Bujanda. More than a century has passed since the family’s patriarch, Joaquín Martínez-Bujanda, began making wine in 1889; now his great-grandchildren, Carlos and Pilar, are carrying on the tradition. They realized their dream of fully expressing wine from a single vineyard by opening Finca Valpiedra in 1999.

As a testament to the quality of Finca Valpiedra’s wine, the estate has been inducted into the exclusive organization Grandes Pagos de España. The group’s mission is to defend and propagate the culture of “Pago” wine, meaning wine produced in a specific terroir that reflects the distinct personality of the soil and climate. To become a member, a vineyard must surpass strict quality standards and also exhibit a degree of uniqueness in terms of soil, climate or grape variety that sets it apart from the surrounding area. The association’s membership includes 25 estate wineries throughout Spain.

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.

HNYFVPRSA09C_2009 Item# 165805