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Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2012

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WS91
  • JS91
14% ABV
  • JS91
  • WS90
  • JS91
  • WS89
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3.6 19 Ratings
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3.6 19 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#58 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2015

Bright, medium-depth, ruby-red with a pink rim. Very intense aromas, with dominating notes of red berries —raspberries and red currants— against a backdrop of anise, caramel, vanilla, cocoa and balsamic spices. Flavorsome mouthfeel, good structure, pleasant acidity and fine tannins leading to a fresh, agreeable finish. A wine with a pleasant aftertaste of sweet licorice.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator
This red is focused and polished, delivering harmonious flavors of black cherry, olive, smoke and mineral. The tannins are well-integrated, the acidity fresh. A bit reserved, but has depth. Drink now through 2022. Top Value Pick
JS 91
James Suckling
A red with layers of dried fruits, orange peel and other citrus fruit. Some mineral too. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Pretty current drinking wine!
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Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta

Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta

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Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain
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Torre de Ona was forged in 1995, when La Rioja Alta, S.A. led this exciting project with the aim of making an excellent quality wine incorporating all the personality of the best vine plots in the prestigious Rioja Alavesa area. A unique location that they were convinced provided clear potential for making a great modern wine, capable of transmitting – as with the great "chateaux" – the exclusive characteristics of a privileged estate.

Since then, and always focused on the continual improvement in the wine, Torre de Ona has made important changes to the vineyards and winery. But it has been in recent years, more specifically since 2005, that they started to pay very special attention to the different plots that make up the estate, and the separate production and maturing of each sub-plot, evaluating the soil and determining where the best quality grapes grow, only then collecting harvests that meet the quality standards for an important international wine. This is how they made the Torre de Ona, Finca San Martín and Club de Cosecheros (Harvester's Club) wines.

They have taken a big step forward. But they will not rest there. They constantly strive for excellence and are convinced that for the Torre de Ona winery, the best has yet to come.

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.

GSW80562012_2012 Item# 150893