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Marques de Grinon Dominio de Valdepusa Emeritus 2003
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Marqués de Griñón wines are sourced from the prized Dominio de Valdepusa vineyard in Castilla-La Mancha. Valdepusa stands apart from the rest of the region, as its 1068-foot elevation is one of the highest in Spain, and its top layer of soil is similar to Burgundy’s — it is almost pure limestone. Dominio de Valdepusa is located in Castilla-La Mancha, some 31 miles from Toledo, near the Pusa River. It covers 50 hectares, 20 of which are planted primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah. The balance is pristine land populated by local varieties of oak, wild olive trees, brush, thyme and rosemary, which contribute to the overall complexity and personality of the single estate. The family believes in the importance of the terroir and does its utmost to transmit the land’s characteristics to their grapes, including the soil’s physical, mineral and biological characteristics. A reputable winemaker in his own right, Falcó has invited top experts from around the world to help continually improve Marqués de Griñón's processes. Legendary Bordeaux oenologists Michel Rolland and Émile Peynaud; soil expert Claude Bourguignon; and Australian viticulturalist Dr. Richard Smart have consulted at Marques de Griñon since 1990, helping to implement the technologies and methods that make the winery one of the most advanced in the world. These include a partial root-drying system, sub-surface drip irrigation, high-canopy trellising, gravity-fed tanks, hand de-stemming and an abandonment of fining and filtration, all of which give the wines their famously powerful and concentrated style.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.