• DIARY OF A VITICULTURIST – 3

    The rain that doesn’t come

    As far as the climate goes, we are still suffering from a big shortage of rainfall, which means our water reserves in the soil are diminishing day by day. Add to this some lower than usual average temperatures in May. These factors mean the plant’s vegetative growth is slower than in other years, marking a total delay in the vine’s phenological development of just over ten days.

     

    The importance of roots

     As good, old Garnacha with a root system which stretches down more than a metre and a half below ground, our Montepedriza plot is bearing up easily in this dry year. But as we tend the vines in these tricky times, our job is to help them get through this dry patch as best they can, and part of that means eliminating any other external vegetation that could compete for scarce water resources.

    Clear the ground….and celebrate! 

    So this month it’s time to work the soil and reach for our grass strimmers again, to help make sure all the available water goes to our Garnacha vines. And we’re getting ourselves ready for the next task…the one planned for 1 June: the summer

  • MONTEPEDRIZA

    MP_MOCKUP_Montepedriza-viñedo-unico

    D.O.Ca.Rioja

    Montepedriza

    2019

    Guía Peñín

    Single Vineyard:

    The Garnacha grapes from the Montepedriza vineyard are kept chilled at 6ºC for 24 hours before going into an open-topped 700 litre vat where they undergo a three day, pre-fermentation cold maceration. Once complete, alcoholic fermentation begins at a controlled temperature of between 23ºC and 26ºC, with manual punching down of the cap. The wine is then racked off into 500 litre French oak casks where malolactic fermentation takes place, followed by 15 months ageing in the same casks. Finally, the wine rests for a further 15 months in bottle before it leaves the winery.

    CARACTERÍSTICAS

    Grape

    Garnacha

    Vintage

    2019

    Vineyard

    Montepedriza, Tudelilla

    Type of soil

    Sandy loam with a generous covering of stones

    Yield kg/ha

    2.500

    Harvest

    Manual in boxes

    Alcoholic content

    14%

    Vegan

    No

    Altitud

    425 m

    Vineyard age

    More than 86 years

    Bottle

    Borgoña 75 cl

    Temperature

    16ºC-18ºC

    NOTAS DE CATA

    Colour

    Intense, brilliant ruby

    Nose

    A very complex, intense nose, with strong floral and black fruit aromas. A swirl of the wine releases more balsamic notes with hints of thyme, fennel and other wild Mediterranean plants. The wood is well integrated in the wine, and complements the primary and secondary aromas with toasted notes, cocoa and black pepper. Long and velvety in the mouth with nicely rounded tannins

    Palate

    A strong attack  and quite direct and vertical on the palate thanks to a subtle but marked acidity and the crunchy texture from the tannins. A long finish.

  • Wine-growers´s diary

    After an unusually dry autumn and winter, now is the time for traditional preventive treatments in the vineyard.

    Finca Montepedriza valdelacierva viñedo único de rioja

    Parcel name: Montepedriza

    Vines: 86 years old

    Grape variety: Garnacha

    Soil type: Sandy loam with a generous covering of stones

    Training system: Bush vines

    Vine density: 3,000 plants/Ha

    Altitude: 625 metres above sea level

    Parcel size: 0.92 Ha

    April rainfall: Historic average: 44.03 litres/m2; 2021: 5.9 litres/m2

    April temperature: Historic average: 10.15ºC; 2021: 10.5ºC

    April relative humidity: 62%

    The rain that never arrives

    April showers as the saying goes. But so far 2021 has been a dry year, with very low rainfall in winter and spring. In autumn and winter (from the end of leaf fall in 2020), we scarcely had 100 litres of rain, while so far this spring we’ve only seen 18 litres. Despite the dry conditions budbreak has been normal, and here in Montepedriza we’re already seeing shoots of between 5-10cm.

    The battle against powdery mildew

     Alongside our grower José Luis, now is the best time to apply the first sulphur treatment for powdery mildew. It’s very important to time this to coincide with the first shoots appearing, because this is when the fungus, which has spent the winter in a vegetative state as mycelium inside the vine bud, begins to develop and produce conidias which, carried by the wind, can spread the disease to all of the plant.

    Tender loving care

    The Garnacha from the Montepedriza parcel is very special. That’s why we look after it so well at every stage and apply sulphur very carefully using a backpack sprayer. This helps keep the use of heavy machinery in the vineyard to a minimum and avoid compacting the soil. The only vehicle allowed in our Garnacha vineyard is the tractor which we use for tilling the soil, otherwise everything else is done manually. We’re so attached to this great vineyard of ours that wherever we can we like to get personally involved.

  • The importance of choosing when to prune

    we´re sharpening our shears for one of our most important pruning operations: the old vines in Soria which we use for our top wine, 12 Linajes.

    With the plant in a dormant state, now is when we start our winter pruning which will shape production for the next harvest. This year we´ve enjoyed a fantastic winter from a viticultural perspective, with low temperatures keeping pests and fungi in the vines to a minimum.

    At the pruning stage, we also take into account other factors to ensure an optimum result. Weather, for example – it´s important to avoid pruning when it´s foggy, raining, or on days with high relative humidity. A lot of vine diseases are transmitted via wounds caused during pruning, and days with high relative humidity make it easier for fungi to enter the vine´s woody tissue via these wounds. The position of the vineyard and its orography is also important. The colder areas of the vineyard are normally pruned at the end of the winter in order to delay budbreak and avoid frosts which, as we know well, can have a disproportionate impact on young vines as opposed to old, and can have a greater impact on more early-ripening varieties.

    All this knowledge and vineyard know-how really comes to the fore when you know your vineyard inside out and you look after it with care and dedication. The results are the best grapes which give the best wines, in our case 12 Linajes.

    Cheers!

  • Viña Gormaz Verdejo

    GORMAZ VERDEJO

    D.O.Rueda

    Viña Gormaz Verdejo

    2019

    When the verdejo extracts the terroir expression. In viticulture oriented to the production of white wines, the combination of silt and clay in depth is beneficial due to the small size of the particles, which favours the absorption of nutrients and water by the root. This will allow the plant to develop the aromatic components of the grape skin, which will provide balance, aromas, freshness and texture to the wine.

    Sandy, nutrient-poor and oxygen-rich soils give the opportunity to produce delicate and pure wines, ideal for the good expression of the Verdejo. They provide the freshness and nutrition that the strains of this variety need in order to reach a perfect balance in their maturity, combining the most expressive white fruit with the unctuousness and character of the Viña Gormaz wines in the mouth

    Production:

    The grapes are selected taking the vineyard age and the type of soil into account. Maceration is carried at cold temperatures (8 ºC – 12 ºC) for 12 – 18 hours that help broading the aromatic intensity of the must. Fermentation is done at a controlled temperature (16 ºC) for 10 – 15 days. The wine is then stirred together with its own lees in order to achieve the characteristic smoothness and persistence of this wine; It’s got volume and complexity.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Grape

    Verdejo

    Vintage

    2019

    Vineyard

    Selected plots in La Seca and Nava del Rey

    Type of soil

    Sand with clay bottoms

    Yield (Kg/ha)

    7.500

    Harvest

    Mechanical at night

    Alcoholic content

    13%

    Altitude

    700 - 800 meters

    Vineyard age

    Over 15 years old

    Bottle type

    Bordeaux 75 cl

    Temperature

    6ºC-8ºC

    TASTING NOTES

    Visual

    Shiny yellow with green hues

    Nose

    Fruity aromas with vegetal and aniseed background

    Palate

    Nice and delicate entry, balanced and rounded. Persistent, fruity and virtuous

  • 12 Linajes Finca los Arenales, the force of the land

    12 Linajes Finca los Arenales, from Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz has obtained a great score in the blind tasting of the prestigious sommelier Ferran Centelles for the Master of Wine.

    This limited edition vegan wine from pre-phylloxeric vineyards,which has an exclusive edition of 1,738 bottles, has been one of the wines mentioned and punctuated in an article that focuses on estate wines in the Ribera del Duero. In addition, the report highlights the importance of soils and the great potential that can be seen in the Ribera del Duero Soriana.

    About 12 Linajes Finca los Arenales

    12 Linajes Finca los Arenales 12 Linajes Finca Los Arenales reveals on its name the sandy condition of the soils of the three plots where the vine grows. Soils composed predominantly of fine textured sands (particles of less than 2mm), loose and well drained, which put up with the drought and proves to be perfect to develop a viticulture guided to elaborate wines with a magnificent quality.

    Its meticulous production has the signature of the winemaker, María José García, who has created unique and limited wines, faithful to centenary vines and artisan productions that only the greatest wines can have. This 100% Tempranillo wine comes from small vineyards located in three areas of the Ribera del Duero Soriana (Ines, Atauta and Miño de San Esteban), set out in 11 plots that have
    as a result 1.74 hectares. The pre-phylloxera vines are planted goblet trained with yields over 2.500 kg/ha. Wine with very limited and exclusive production, made with rigorous artisan methods.

    12 Linajes Finca Los Arenales amass the wealth of a unique environment that, thanks to its ecosystem and age of the vineyard, is one of the most valuable heritage in Ribera del Duero.

    The design of the label, with clear and precise lines, includes the three graphic elements recovered from the 12 Linajes shield, the emblematic brand of the winery

     

     

  • The Valdelacierva Reserva wines have been rated by Tim Atkin

    The wines Valdelacierva Reserva, from the Spanish winery Bodegas Valdelacierva, have been part of the leading wines on the Rioja 2020 Special Report, written by Tim Atkin, one of the most important journalists in the world.

    In their first vintage, these Valdelacierva Reserva already have an extensive list of medals and awards above 90 points, which are the result of a great effort in the winery, a philosophy based on the field and the artisanal production and limited editions.

    Furthermore, on the special report, Tim Atkin explores the soils, the wine categories and the most special places in the D.O.Ca Rioja.

    About Valdelacierva Reserva 2014

    On the article, Tim Atkin describes it as a fresh, chalky, nuanced Tempranillo with rose petal and forest floor aromas, nuanced tannins and a core of savoury, spicy fruit. With a production of 40,000 bottles, it is a wine with the vegan certification and a sophisticated and elegant image with the essence of the winemaker, Emma Villajos. Valdelacierva Reserva was born in a unique 50-year-old vineyard in Baños de Ebro and harvested manually. It has been aged for 24 months in American and French oak barrels respectively with a subsequent rounding in a 12-month bottle.

    About Valdelacierva Reserva Limited Edition 2014

    Based on the description by Tim Atkin, Valdelacierva Reserva Limited Edition shows a more modern, international style from Valdelacierva with plenty of colour and intensity, coffee bean and blackberry flavours and a firm, sinewy finish.  Its 3,245 bottles represent a symbiosis between pre- phylloxera vineyard and the excellence of the winemaker, who signs perfectly every listed bottle. This Reserva is born from three unique vineyard plots in Baños de Ebro (Llano, La Salmuera and Río Cañas) and a manual harvest. In addition, it is aged for 26 months in French oak barrels. Valdelacierva Reserva Limited Edition represents a commitment to the identity and quality of one of the best terroirs from Rioja.

    About Bodegas Valdelacierva

    Bodegas Valdelacierva is located in the heart of the Rioja Alta (Navarrete) and has more than 200 ha. of vineyards that are distributed in small plots with strains 25-130 years old.

    The winery has a young and dynamic character and it is inclined towards the production of modern wines, with the seal of the land and the Tempranillo and Garnacha grape varieties as main elements. The wines from Bodegas Valdelacierva have the vegan certification and they come from selected vineyards of the best areas in Rioja. Its wines have been awarded worldwide and they are part of the best category in the D.O.Ca Rioja: VIÑEDO SINGULAR.

  • The soils of the Ribera del Duero soriana acquire prominence in the new image of Viña Gormaz

    Viña Gormaz, one of the brands part of the Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz family, from Ribera del Duero, launches a new image that represents two significant differences in the province of  Soria, which are the altitude and the composition of the soil.  With this change, the winery highlights the differential value of the territory by indicating the differences in comparison with other zones: the altitude of the vineyards, the typicity and the composition of the soils, as well as the traditional working production in the land based on the age and the cultivation characteristics of the vineyards.

    At the essence of respect, the rythym and the life cycles that the nature gives are essential in the production of Viña Gormaz. Those reinforce a solid image of the dedication to the vineyard and the production of the wines to keep them loyal to the terroir. In this new design, the interpretation of the stratums of the soil plays a very important and main role. Through icons assigned to each type of soil, Viña Gormaz expresses a set of textures and sizes that identify each wine with the different types of terroir they are composed.

    In this way, in a dare and minimalistic design, sandy soils, clay, and pebbles textures are mixed in order to represent in the label the mix of soils from Soria. The concept of the terroir is valued in Viña Gormaz with the identity, character and expression of the main variety, Tinta el País (Tempranillo) in this area.

    Viña Gormaz, the details of the label

    The new labels of Viña Gormaz Young, Roble, Crianza and Verdejo have in common a design in relief, which trough the sense of touch emphasizes the characteristics of the soils of the vineyards where they come from. The Young is distinguished by sand and silt, which reflect the character of the tempranillo expressed in the terroir. The Roble, thanks to the mixture of clay and sand with a low amount of silt is the ideal combination for the development of the vineyard with this variety.  The elegance and structure of the Crianza is reflected in a black background which highlights the sum of sand, clay, rolling stones, minerals and multiple factors that enhance the aromas and the character of this Tempranillo with very low yields.

    The Viña Gormaz family is completed with a white wine from D.O. Rueda produced by Bodegas GarciGrande (also part of Hispanobodegas). The image is inspired by the characteristics of the Verdejo variety, as well as the composition of silt and clay bottoms soils that give rise to this fragrant wine with a varietal character typical from its area.

    About Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz

    Founded in 1972 with a long track record in the region, Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz is part of the founding group of 12 wine producers to receive an official Certificate of Origin in 1982. It is part of Soria, a province in Spain which is characterized by its Mediterranean-continental climate, extreme altitudes of 900m for grape cultivation, and a very particular rural environment. The winery currently has 232 hours. of vineyard distributed in more than 1,000 small farms grouped in about 70 plots. It is one of the longest living areas in the country, with an average age of 65 years, with 70% of the vineyard aged over 80 years. Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz has the vegan certification (12 Linajes Reserva, 12 Linajes Finca los Arenales and 12 Linajes Grano a Grano). Moreover, the winery has limited edtition wines, which have been produced manually (12 Linajes Finca los Arenales y 12 Linajes Grano a Grano) and wines recognized worldwide such as 12 Linajes Reserva, which recently has received 93 points and “Editor’s Edition” by the American magazine Wine Enthusiast, or 12 Linajes Grano a Grano, which has received 93 points in the last edition of Peñín Guide.

    About Bodegas GarciGrande

    Founded in 1989, Bodegas GarciGrande is based on old wineries dating back to the XIV century and stands proud as a true reference of the good wines of the D.O. Rueda and passionate defender of the values ​​of the terroir. The height of its vineyards, between 700 and 800 m., Its continental climate and the composition of its soils rich in calcium and magnesium, stony, with very good aeration and drainage, constitute the first base on which the wines of this winery. Marked by the typicality of the Denomination of Origin to which it belongs, Bodegas GarciGrande develops these concepts from its own identity, without renouncing key aspects in the resulting quality of its wines such as night vintages, pressing control and application of the aging on lees at the end of the fermentation that contributes to achieving the unctuousness and persistence that distinguish wines “brand of the house”.

  • 12 Linajes and Valdelacierva, the best wines of 2019

    The wines Valdelacierva Crianza 5! Renques from Bodegas Valdelacierva and 12 Linajes Grano a Grano from Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz have been selected as one of the best wines of 2019 by the Spanish newspaper Expansión, Fuera de Serie.

    With a sophisticated and elegant image design, these tempranillo wines with vegan certification become the perfect gift for this Christmas.

    Valdelacieva Crianza 5! Renques is aged in French and American oak barrels, with an intense aroma and sweet attack.

    12 Linajes Grano a Grano is a limited edition wine which main peculiarity lies in its manual shelling, separating the scrape from the whole grains. If you want to surprise that person with a bottle of this spectacular wine, you will have to hurry because it only has 1,423 numerated bottles.

    https://www.expansion.com/fueradeserie/gastro/album/2019/11/25/5dc2b571e5fdea81208b460e.html

  • A luxurious picnic: Valdelacierva Garnacha

    The newspaper Expansión published on the supplement “Fuera de Serie” the best 15 wines to enjoy during the summer. Our Valdelacierva Garnacha Magnum has been selected for a picnic day. “the luxury in a picnic does exist, and it has the name of a Rioja wine”.

  • Viña Gormaz selected by James Suckling

    Viña Gormaz, the wine from Ribera del Duero, Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz has been chosen by one of the most influential critics in the world of wine in his annual Spanish wine tasting. James Suckling has given 92 points to Viña Gormaz Crianza and 91 points to Viña Gormaz Roble. Viña Gormaz, wine from San Esteban de Gormaz, adds another award and makes noise as 12 Linajes, range that keeps getting prizes and good comments among the experts in the world of wine.

    The excellent job of the winemaker María José García in Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz has one formula: quality, excellence and teamwork. “In our winery we make an effort so that each bottle has the essence of our vineyards, which are from old vines in Soria, with a complexity not only in terms of its age, quality and richness of the terroirs, but also because of the peculiarity of its great variety of soils and microclimates. This is something we like to put a value on because it is unique in the production of Spanish wines. Every path has been a challenge, but receiving high scores as 93 points in Wine Enthusiast, among “Editor’s Choice” in our 12 Linajes Reserva, motivate us on keep working” declared recently María José about her philosophy in the winery.

  • Wine tasting with Víctor de la Serna from El Mundo

    Víctor de la Serna, one of the most important journalists in Spain and one of the most prestigious gatsronomic critics in the country has dedicated his column to the project of our wineries: Valdelacierva (Rioja) and Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz (Ribera del Duero). The article translated: 

    Make less wine, but much better. 

    Hispanobodegas, the winery group founded a couple of years ago with wineries in Rioja (Valdelacierva), Ribera del Duero (Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz) and Rueda (Bodegas GarciGrande), is evolving in an interesting way within the current Spanish landscape: initially designed for the high production of mid-range wines, it is now drifting towards wines from the terroir, from plots, and focusing on personality. A tasting of the latest wines from the wineries in Rioja and Ribera del Duero confirms that they are on the right track.

    It is enough to see that between Valdelacierva and Gormaz – the former cooperative of San Esteban de Gormaz, privatised in 2004 – they control more than 400 hectares of land. This accounts for its initial high-volume intentions, which is the case with many Spanish wineries in these two denominations, not to mention the bulk and supermarket wine areas of the southern half.

    As the owners explain, the group is trying to diversify, reduce production and increase the level of quality and price. However, the company is not doing this in the style of the 90s – nor even the early 2000s – by basing it on luxurious oak wines, but instead opting for an in-depth study of its own excellent wine-growing heritage, in order to identify the vines with potential, finesse and personality. This is achieved through a careful study of their soils and orientations, whose grapes are assembled in ‘cuvées’ of modest size, or in some cases produced from a single plot.

    Valdelacierva, based in Navarrete, has the essentials of its vineyards in Sonsierra and Rioja Alavesa, although it has just acquired old plots of Grenache in Tudelilla. Gormaz, which is the most eastern, highest and coldest part of Ribera, has vineyards in places that are now gaining popularity, such as Atauta or Alcubilla de Avellaneda. Garcigrande, as they explained to us, is only in the first steps of that reconversion.

    Two women direct the oenological tasks and, from what we have seen, the control of the wine-growing: Emma Villajos Barja in Valdelacierva and María José García Moreno in Gormaz. Their styles are similar: delicacy in the treatment of the grape, little extraction and little submission to the new oak.

    We will have to keep an eye on this company, because for us, it seems like a good model for a reconversion towards the quality and the terroir of the unbalanced Spanish wine industry.

    From the Rioja winery, we have been very impressed by the delicate Valdelacierva Grano a Grano, a Tempranillo from the Finca La Botija in Baños de Ebro, whose grapes are completely destemmed by hand to keep them whole and culminate in an impeccable intracellular maceration. We also enjoyed the fresh Valdelacierva Garnacha, from 75-year old vines in the Finca La Pedriza de Tudelilla.

    Gormaz, under its 12 Linajes brand, also makes a remarkable Grano a Grano from a single vineyard in Quintanilla de Tres Barrios and a promising 12 Linajes Finca Los Arenales.

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