viernes, 5 de abril de 2013

Medievo Crianza 2009, La Rioja Baja, Spain


MEDIEVO CRIANZA 2009, LA RIOJA BAJA, SPAIN

- Wine making: An excellent Rioja Crianza made from carefully selected Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha 10%, Mazuelo 5% and Graciano 5%. Aged 14 months in American and French oak barrels and 12 months in bottle before its release. (Also available in cartons of 12x37.5cl and 6x150cl bottles).

- Tasting notes: "Dark black cherry colour. Pungent, berry nose with hints of spices and oak. On the palate, the wine is full flavoured but elegant with dominant fruits of wild red, black and blue berries combined with balsamic, cedar wood and well polished soft tannins. Just the right balance of acidity and tannin on the finish to complement the fruit and give the wine ageing potential. Gorgeous lengthy finish with balsamic mineral finish". burridgewine.

Prowein 2012 - Silver Medal

- Winery: Established in 2001, Bodegas del Medievo is an exciting new winery situated in Aldeanueva de Ebro (La Rioja) about 50 kms from Logroño, the capital of DOC Rioja. They are located in the Rioja Baja, in the southeast of the region where the climate is warmer and more Mediterranean than the Alta and Alavesa. They own 220 hectares of vineyards which include the main varieties, Tempranillo 65%, Garnacha 20%, Mazuelo 10% and Graciano 5%. Their vineyards extend across the highest areas of Aldeanueva on the fringes of Mount Yerga at about 600 metres above sea level. The soil in this area is essentially clay-calcareous, poor in organic matter which, combined with the low average rainfall of 400mm and the altitude of its vineyards, provides optimal conditions for the cultivation of healthy grapes with great intensity of colour and hence producing wines of an unquestionably modern character. They produce young red, white and rosé, Crianza and Reserva wines.

Bodegas del Medievo’s objective is to produce high quality wines with a modern wine-making style thereby crafting outstanding, fruit driven wines of great elegance. The winery is equipped with the most advanced techniques and modern facilities, occupying an area of 3500 square metres. They have the capacity to elaborate 2 million kilos of grapes and have 2500 barrels (80% American and 20% French oak), the complete wine making process monitored meticulously by their oenologist, Santiago Garde. The Reserva was selected from over 1200 wines and included amongst Spain’s best 100 wines at the Off Licence News Tasting in November 2010.

- Price: £12.00

RIOJA BAJA

Rioja Baja is a sub-region of the Rioia DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) in northern Spain. It forms the largest portion of the region, and accounts for 40% of its wine output. It extends southeast of the provincial capital, Logroño, to the small town of Alfaro, and is housed mostly within the La Rioja autonomous community, although it creeps into Navarra in parts. Most of its vineyards are located south of the Ebro River.

Unlike its neighbors Rioia Alta and RioJa Alavesa, the Rioja Baja region has very dry and warm summers (temperatures of 95F/35C are not uncommon), a result of the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. The soils also differ significantly from those in its neighbors; the chalk content is minimal, with larger proportions of silt and alluvial components as well as ferrous-clay. Drought is also a real threat.

The low-altitude vineyards were once mostly planted with Garnacha vines, which were regarded as being best suited to the extreme conditions, producing wines high in alcohol but low in acidity and aroma profile. As these grapes routinely reached full ripeness, they were suitable for blending with the Tempranillo wines produced in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. The aim was to add body rather than character to their cooler-climate wines. In the 1980s, however, many of these old Garnacha vines were pulled out in favor of the more-marketable Tempranillo, but now producers are slowly realizing the benefits of Garnacha in Rioja wines and are replanting the variety.

The flatter terrain of Rioja Baja, along with its climatic conditions, makes it a less important wine region than Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa in terms of quality, despite its output.

The local wine industry is largely based on co-operatives. Many of the top Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa wineries have vineyards or long-term arrangements with growers in Rioja Baja as insurance against bad vintages.

References: burridgewine and wine-searcher

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