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Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2014

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS91
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • JS91
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • WS89
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Winemaker Notes

Medium-high depth, intense cherry red, with a clean, bright pink rim. The nose stands out for its intense aromas of red blackberries, wild strawberries and hints of underbrush set against a balsamic background of aniseed, sweet licorice, cinnamon and cedar to round off a fine bouquet. Very noticeable velvety texture in the mouth, with well-balanced acidity and elegant, pleasant tannins, giving way to a fresh aftertaste in which the nuances of ripe fruit and licorice showcase the typicity of this Rioja Alavesa wine.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling
A soft and fruity wine with chocolate and bright berry character. Fresh and integrated with velvety tannins. Delicious and flavorful at the finish. Drink or hold.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This plump, traditional-style red shows plum and fig flavors, with vanilla and cinnamon accents that impart a spicy character. Light tannins and orange peel acidity keep this focused and balanced. Drink now through 2026.
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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 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.

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.

GSW8056_2014 Item# 512909