lunes, 11 de febrero de 2013

Bodegas Hermanos Peciña (San Vicente - La Rioja)


Written by: Jesús Barquín / Luis Gutiérrez / Víctor de la Serna. (The Finest Wines of Rioja and Northwest Spain)

Pecina is a minute village - with a population in 2009 of four, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística - belonging to the parish of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in the northwest of Rioja Alta. The name derives from piscina (swimming pool), which comes not from any sports facilities in the neighbourhood but from the 12th-century hermitage of Santa Maria de la Piscina, the best example of Romanesque architecture in La Rioja, which is located nearby.

Historically speaking, it was not unusual for people to take their surname from the village in which they lived or from which their families originated. This must have been the case - probably generations ago for the Peciña family, owners of the Hermanos Peciña (Peciña Brothers) winery. Established in 1992 by Pedro Peciña Crespo and his three sons, the winery is quite a recent addition to the Rioja scene, and its wines are better known among lovers of traditional-style Rioja in the United States than in Spain.

The family has 50 ha (125 acres) of vines, all in the environs of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, all within 10 km (6 miles) of the winery, and all more than 15 years of age, some considerably older. The vineyards are located at altitudes ranging from 475 to 600 m (1.560 1,970 ft), all on clay-limestone soils. The plots are named Finca Iscorta, Salinillas, El Codo, La Liende, La Veguilla, La Peña, La Tejera, Llano Paulejas, and Valseca. The family likes to have a proportion of Craciano mixed in the field with Tempranillo, and all their wines have around 2 per cent of Craciano.

In 1997, the company built a new winery and began making oak-aged wines. Since then, the family has been expanding and improving its facilities, always thinking about its customers, with a shop and the option of visits, tastings, and dinners. They even have guests rooms. They have enough capacity to vinify a million kilos (1,100 US tons) of grapes and a stock 3.500 barrels and 500,000 bottles.

Vinification is traditional; the grapes are destemmed and fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel, where the malolactic also occurs. To avoid the excessive taste of wood, the wines are aged in used barrels; and to avoid reduction, they are racked by gravity every six months. Time in wood is variable: two years for the Crianza, three for the Reserva, four for the Gran Reserva, but only nine months for the more modern wines. At the end of this process there is no need to filter or fine before bottling. The resulting wines have made Peciña a new classic.


The style of the wines is generally very traditional, starting with a cold-macerated, fresh, and fruity white from Viura, then moving to the reds: a joven, a crianza, a reserva, and a gran reserva under the label Señorio de P Pecina, plus two special cuvées with a more modern flavour.

- Señorio de P Pecina: There are four different reds under the same label: the Joven is fruit-driven, but from the Crianza on, the wines show more tertiary notes, with plenty of leather and paprika and echoes of coconut from the American wood. There is limited production of the Gran Reserva, which is sourced form the oldest vineyards - as all grand, though many are not - and kept for four years in American oak barrels and three years in bottle before release. The 2005 Crianza, 2001 Reserva, and 1998 Gran Reserva are all recommended. Very classic wines.

- Pecina Vendimia Seleccionada Reserva: This is produced only in selected vintages, aged almost like a gran reserva (three years in barrel and two in bottle) but keeping a modern edge of more concentration and colour. The 1997 is perfect for drinking now, with red fruit (maraschino cherries), balsamic notes, spicy and smoky, with a wood background. Medium-bodied, with good acidity, it keeps the fruit but shows signs of complexity in the shape of tobacco aromas. This is for those who like classic wines with a modern twist.

- Chobeo de Pecifia: The top cuvée, quite different from the rest of the portfolio, is sourced from the oldest vines - more than 50 years old - which yield only 4,000 kg/ha. The grapes pass over a selection table, and after alcoholic fermentation the wine is transferred to new American oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, where, after one racking, the wine will age for a period of nine months. This is a wine that is modern in style when compared with the rest of the portfolio.


Bodegas Hermanos Peciña currently grows 50 Ha of vines in San Vicente de la Sonsierra and surrounding area.

Their vineyards, all with more than 15 years old, are distributed in multiple places within 10 km from the winery, which allows us to carry the grapes quickly, preventing oxidation and possible premature fermentation.

In all vineyards Graciano variety grapes are planted, which helps us to obtain wines with greater concentration of colour. These plants are interspersed among the tempranillo grapes, so all our wines have a range of 2% graciano.

- Finca Iscorta: It is their oldest vine, it is 60 years old, trained in the shape of a traditional globet with a low production of 4000 kg per hectare, they can obtain high quality grapes with intense colour and high sugar concentration. The vineyard is divided in 9 hectares of tempranillo, 1 hectare of white grape Viura and 1 hectare of garnacha. It has an altitude of 500 meters, the plot has a slight slope and it is facing south-north to obtain a perfect ventilation when the grapes mature and avoid pests.

- Salinillas: It is their vineyard with more altitude, situated over 600 meters in the foothills of Toloño mountain and 25 years old, it consists of two plots of 5 and 2 hectares, both of tempranillo. It produces fruits with high acidity ensuring the necessary freshness to our wines. It is planted in trellis system to obtain a balance between acidity and sugar concentration. The orientation is north-south and the yield about 6000 kg / hectare.

- El Codo: Is their most spectacular vineyard, both in the presence and quality of fruit. This 35 years old vineyard includes 9 hectares located on a hillside with a slope of almost 100 meters, starting at 485 and ending at 575 meters from its lowest to highest, where there are 3000 Viura grape plants where the wind blows stronger.

This stunning hillside has Northwest-southeast orientation and a very stony boulder ground, which serves to drain the water easily and store it in its depth. Its ability to receive sunlight is traduced in grapes with perfect water stress where the roots need to be much deeper in search of water.

The difficulties of the terrain are not an obstacle to work in it, due to it is specially adapted both in machinery and personnel terms, so that we can obtain grapes with analytical results that make the difference. The yield of 5000 kg / ha is the result of a very hard work but rewarding to the product obtained. The provision of the strains is in trellis system in order to maximize ventilation.

- La Liende: Their smaller vineyard, it is 15 years old and is situated to 525 meters, includes 2 hectares of tempranillo with a yield of 6000 kg / ha.
Its floodplains soil provides a great depth of water drainage, so we get an excellent result and  the strains are forced to seek deeper water, which increases quality and reduces the quantity.

- La Veguilla: Our youngest vineyard, situated on the banks of the Ebro river, at a level of 475 meters, it is 15 years old and includes 4 tempranillo hectares. With floodplains soil and north-south orientation, a slight slope toward the river is the perfect spot for obtaining grapes with lower sugar concentration, high acidity and fresh floral aromas. The production is 6500 kg / ha. (Trellis system).

- La Peña: This 20 years old and 4 tempranillo hectares vineyard is located 525 meters above sea level with a production of 6000 kg / ha. It is faced from east to west, to maximize the sunshine and situated on a slight slope on limestone ground allowing to obtain maximum colour concentration and extraction of sugar.

- La Tejera: This 20 years old and nearly 2 Grenache hectares vineyard is located 600 meters above sea level. It enables us to obtain adequate and soft Grenache wines with delicate flavours (raspberries, figs ...) needed for blending with other our wines (3%). The vineyard yield is 6500 kg / ha and the characteristic green of the leaves of the garnacha give a very attractive colour. The less need of heat and sunshine time in this grape variety is ideal to be situated so high, stressing its qualities.

- Llano Paulejas: This vineyard is formed by 4 parcels, combining between all 7 hectares of tempranillo with an average age of 40 years. With a very poor clay limestone soil, the production of this vineyard is 4000 kg / ha, being a totally flat land, we obtain a very small and concentrated fruit, resulting in a high quality wines for aging. The orientation is northeast-southwest and is planted in trellis system.

- Valseca: The vineyard consists of two plots of Tempranillo, one of 1 ha of 30 years old and another one 15 years old 3 ha, it is located a few meters from our winery, with an altitude of 550 meters and a yield of 6000 kg / ha. The maturation is long, because the altitude conditions  delay this process, so we get a concentration of sugars and high acidity, both difficult to get together unless such conditions. This allows us to combine the grapes of this vineyard with those of the rest to obtain wines with high tannic level and acidity, necessary for the aging of wines. It is planted in trellis system, the orientation is north-south and the terrain is calcareous clay. Being located in the center of a large valley, the wind conditions allow a special cleaning and aeration of the grapes, which makes it more immune to attacks of plagues as other vineyards, which almost allow us to eliminate the treatments with sulphates and phosphates.

Bodegas Hermanos Peciña
Area under vine: 50ha (125 acres)
Average production: 300,000 bottles
Carretera de Vitoria km 47,
26338 San Vicente de la Sonsierra, La Rioja
Tel: +34 941 334 366
Fax: +34 941 3341 80

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