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Sierra Cantabria Garnacha 2014

Grenache from Rioja, Spain
  • WS92
  • JD91
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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  • WW92
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The vineyards used to produce Sierra Cantabria Garnacha are the oldest that the Eguren family own. Traditionally, Garnacha was the dominant variety in Rioja. However, due to its long vegetative cycle, Garnacha is very late ripening, and as a result, it is difficult to harvest it ripe in northern Rioja, due to the influence of the Atlantic. In the 1970’s and 80’s Tempranillo became a more popular variety as it ripens earlier. Vintages where the Garnacha grape can reach full ripeness showcase fruity, fresh, and elegant wines.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
This dense red delivers ripe plum and blackberry flavors balanced by savory notes of anise, espresso and mineral. Firm tannins and smoky acidity give this structure. A bit austere now, but has depth. Best from 2018 through 2028.
JD 91
Jeb Dunnuck
From vines planted in 1927, the 2014 Garnacha (100% Garnacha aged 14 months in 15% new French oak) offers a big nose of ripe red and black fruits, tons of baking spices, white pepper and chocolate. Deep, medium to full-bodied, nicely textured and balanced, it's an elegant, silky wine that has loads of charm.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Produced with grapes from the cool Sonsierra zone, the 2014 Garnacha fermented with 16 days of maceration and matured in oak barrels (15% new), where it also underwent malolactic. They started producing this wine in 2008, from a vineyard planted in 1927, a low-yielding and very fresh site. Surprisingly enough, it has more color and feels less evolved and at the same time has more freshness than the 2015. Being a cooler year, 2014 provided a longer cycle, and the grapes achieved better ripeness and especially better balance.
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Sierra Cantabria

Sierra Cantabria

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Sierra Cantabria, Spain
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Founded by Guillermo Eguren, who is a self-made "bodeguero", coming from a family tradition of vine growers. Today, the fourth generation of the Eguren family, Marcos Eguren, is the winemaker and director of the winery. Sierra Cantabria has come to the forefront of Spanish wineries in the last 15 years. This is from the extreme care that they give to their vineyards, located in the best terrain of Rioja, the savoir-faire of Marcos Eguren, and his price-conscious policies. Vineyards are located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, one of the most famous towns in Rioja, known for the quality of its grapes. The grapes are sourced on 267 acres (108 ha), from 1,440-1,740 ft. above sea level (480-580 m), spread among the towns of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Labastida, and Laguardia. The proportions of grapes are 91% Tempranillo, 3% Malvasia, and 6% Viura. 75% of the production comes from their own vineyards, the rest they buy from local growers. They have been doing ecologically conscious agriculture in their own vineyards for the last 12 years. Average production 0.5 t/acre (hectare is 5,000 kg). The soil is composed of Clay-lime, the best soil of Rioja. The climate is Continental, with the influence of winds from the Atlantic, but protected from more severe weather by the Sierra Cantabria Mountains
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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 Oriental. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. 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 Oriental 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 for one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, 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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Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

EPC37795_2014 Item# 490012