martes, 20 de octubre de 2015

Vin Neuf Independent Wine Merchants in Stratford



VIN NEUF - INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS IN STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (WARWICKSHIRE - ENGLAND)

It is the first retail shop in Stratford-upon-Avon. They benefit from being positioned in the centre of the town and because they have a unique cellar and tasting forum.

Vin Neuf Limited, is a family run independent wine merchants specialising in Fine Wines, Champagnes, Ports and Sherries from around the world.

They supply to the restaurant trade as well as retail customers. 

But no matter how large or small your order is, they will be delighted to tailor their wines to meet your requirement.

They also regularly cater for weddings, corporate events, wine tastings at the shop, parties, or private events.


- Name: Vin Neuf Limited
- Adress: 9 Union St, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6QT, UK
- Telephone: 01789 261 747
- Email: info@vinneuf.co.uk
- Web: www.vinneuf.com
- Opening Hours: Monday 9.30am – 4pm / Tuesday – Saturday 9.30am – 6.30pm


BUYING FROM AN INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANT

Most of wine retailers generally stocking the same wines, such as hig street chains and supermarkets. Together they account for the largest proportion of the total UK wine sales, about 80%.

Vin Neuf, as an Independent Wine Merchants, strives to offer more of a interesting and carefully selected range of wines, many of which are not necessarily more expensive. They are also always interested and very happy to hear of wines you like and where possible will source them for you and even stock them.

If you’re serious about developing a wine collection, enjoy their splendid array of wines, they specialise in a particular region or country and provide bespoke advice. In the case of Vin Neuf, they maintain their focus on wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon (and neighbouring regions), but they also have a very healthy portfolio of other wines from around the globe.


Apart from one-on-one service, independent wine merchants can offer range where the bigger players (supermarkets), cannot. We're not simply talking about the number of wines stocked; we're talking about a mixture of small-scale, off-the-beaten track, artisan producers alongside low-volume, super-premium classics from those with established and well-earned reputations. And if they don´t carry it, then in many cases the staff or owner will blend over backwards trying to track it down for you.

The more information that you can give your local independent abotu what you like to drink. Including price, variety, country, style, loves and hates, etc. The closer theyáre likely to get to finding you something that really stacks up. From here the trick is letting them lead you. Allow them to show you new thing.

The other great advantage to buying wine from an independent wine merchant is that in most cases they'll offer a mailing list, which I'd strongly recommend you join. Mailing lists are a great way to find out about a range of regular customer events such as weekly tastings; if you're looking to expand your drinking repertoire, these offer the perfect opportunity to try before you buy. From small and quirky through to ultra premium, this is often where you'll find the best combination of hard-to-get products and expert service.


MODERN BRITAIN WINE MERCHANTS

A merchant is a businessperson engaged in retail trade. Wine merchants are almost as important to de wine world as producers and consumers, and may have been for at least four millennia.

The British wine merchant is, almost necessarily, an importer, or a customer of one. Wine merchants were important in medieval England and Gascony, when they were known as vintners in English.

Even today, a wine merchant in Britain enjoys a social standing perceptibly higher than that of, for example, a grocer. This is somewhat ironic since the majority of wine sold in Britain has been sold by grocers, as opposed to specialists, since at least 1987. This was largely due to the efforts of the licensed supermarkets to improve the range and quality of wines they sell, although it is also simply a function of the fact that so many Britons pass through a supermarket at some point very week.

The independent specialist wine merchant has to struggle to compete with the low margins funded by the sheer quantity of wine a chain of supermarkets can sell. They do so by offering personal service, advice, sale or return facilities, credit, mail order, glass loan, and so on, with the supermarkets and such specialist chains as have survived the onslaught of competition from supermarkets hot on their heels.


THE TEAM OF KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF

Any independent wine shop worth its salt will have people who know more than just a little standing behind the counter, which often will mean the owner. The best about local wine independents is their team of passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable staff. I higly recomend to strike up a relationship with one of them, some who really knows what theyré talking about, and so the road to better drinking begins.

- James Richards (Manager & Wine Buff): Started in the wine trade in 1995 for Wine Bin Ends, a small independent wine merchants based in Cambridge. It was during the year spent working for them, that James’s love of wine emerged. Several years elapsed before the birth of Vin Neuf in 2002 and by 2005 James obtained a WSET diploma from Coventry University.

- Olivia Richards (Retail Manager): Olivia manages retail sales and all local deliveries. Currently studying the family WSET books, her wine knowledge continues to blossom! Olivia has an excellent palate and is invaluable at trade tasting events.

- Paul Richards (Wine Taster): The senior Richards family representative, now semi-retired, is nevertheless a key member of Vin Neuf wine merchants. When not travelling in these exotic climes, he is found on the stacker truck late at night unloading lorries at our Warehouse.

- Lynne Fairbairn (Retail Assistant): Lynn, one of the fledgling members of the Vin Neuf team, jumped at the chance of supporting the Richards family with wholesale deliveries and retail sales. Her background is in acting and Customer Service training – and she is extremely proud to be working with undoubtedly the finest vintners in Warwickshire. Lynn hails from the North East so you may hear her dulcet tones when she gives you a call or when you pop into the shop; you will always receive a warm welcome.


VIN NEUF ONLINE SHOP SITE

For those who are unable to visit the shop but like the look of their wines, you can use the new look webshop launched in December 2013.

The online shop site is being designed to compliment the Vin Neuf retail shop in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Here you will find easy navigation to a select choice from the world of fine wines, champagnes, ports, sherries and organic juices.

Finding a decent wine shop is your key to getting more out of wine, tha´s why you should consider also adding your name to their mailing list and receive updates on our latest wine offers. They also send wine news, information on wine tasting events and much more…

When ordering on-line is highly recomended enter your postcode to ensure the correct delivery address. They endeavour to deliver the majority of orders themselves within their delivery area: (B/CV/WR) postcodes via the Vin Neuf Van (VNV) and the charge is only £6.95 (Courier: £12.00 depending on postcode and weight). However, if the van is already on a scheduled delivery within your area, delivery will be free, so when they call you back to take payment they will arrange the best delivery date to suit.


Delivery will be within 2 working days. Please note when they send wine with their courier the price includes special transit packaging to ensure the wines arrive safely. Please also note that deliveries to Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight, The Scilly Isles and some areas of Scotland may take longer and are subject to a surcharge.

It is regrettable that the London Congestion Charge where applicable will also be passed on to the buyer. Despatch will generally be within 48 hours, or a maximum 5 working days from receipt of order. The seller shall not be liable to the Buyer for any loss of any nature arising as a result of any delay in making delivery.

All goods should be examined upon receipt, and any claim for loss or breakage notified by e-mail, fax or telephone forthwith. In case of goods delivered by couriers unless any claim is made within 24 hours, no compensation, refund or other credit will be available.


BUYING WINE ON THE INTERNET

Pros of buying wine on the Internet:
- Fantastic range
- Availability of mature wines
- Availability of classic wines no longer in the mainstream
- Door-to-door services

Tips for online success:
1. Buy from a reputable online supplier: Shop with an established retailer: preferably someone with a physical store as well as an online presence. Online customer feedback is worth checking out, too.
2. Call to check that your order has been received: This is a great way to ensure that not only has the supplier received your order and details, but also that what you ordered is available.
3. Confirm the shipping details: Confirmation of delivery times aside, there are often extra charges and/or taxes which are payable on delivery, so this is the ideal time to double-check exactly what you're up for.
4. Make sure that your order is traceable: Check with your online retailer about whether there is an order number and/or trace number that you can use to monitor the whereabouts of your delivery should it get lost or delayed. Often, you can follow the movements of your order online.


WINE TASTINGS AT THE VIN NEUF

They hold regular informal wine tasting evenings in our cellars in Union Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. By ‘informal’ they mean you need to have no prior knowledge of wine, but just the love of grapes, good company and a ‘joyeux de vive’. The tastings are generally held every month on a Thursday evening.

Ticket prices are £20.00 per person and includes a glass of wine upon arrival and canapés with 8 wines on tasting (ticket prices may vary depending on the wines selected)

Vin Neuf offer canapés as an addition to Vin Neuf private wine tastings, corporate hospitality, corporate events and Hen parties. They offer a selection of freshly prepared vegetarian, fish and meat canapés to complement their wines and their service can be provided either in their own cellars, or at a preferred venue of your choice.

Vin Neuf Canapés provides an ‘add on’ facility to enhance your event, taking away any hassle that can come with entertaining and ensuring a sensational event with delicious wines and canapés provided together.


BODEGAS URBINA RIOJA TASTING WITH WINEMAKER

Bodegas Urbina Rioja Tasting hosted by the winemaker, taste 8 wines with homemade canapés bread & cheese. £20 p/p (7th October 2015).
- Cheeses: Camembert, Manchego, Picos Blue
- Wine on arrival: Tobelos barrel fermented Blanco Rioja 2013
- Canapés: Tapenade and Bruschettà. Mozzarella and chorizo croustade, Sweet chilli king prawns and rocket blinis Mini Pissadeliere

Ticket prices are £20.00 per person and includes a glass of wine upon arrival and canapés with 8 wines on tasting (Ticket prices may vary depending on the wines selected/venue).

Please Note: if you wish to receive an invitation via email or via the post please, send on your details via email or phone the shop on 01789 261 747


Bodegas Urbina Crianza, Rioja 2008 - £13.69

- Tasting note: Ruby colour with garnet hues. On the nose, good intensity with elegant, mature and cherries, vanilla, coconout and spice on the nose. On the palate, well-balanced and complexed, creamy smooth, velvety texture of red berries, nuts and spice flavours with firm tannins and background, good structure, long lasting, with persistent aftertaste. Pleasant and easy-drinking.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 95% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano.

- Alcohol volume: 13,5%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from over 25+ year old vines.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: This Crianza is fermented at 28º C and macerated for 26 days in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged in oak for 12 months after which it is bottled and remains at the cellar for a further 6 months before release. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the wine-making process which give the Urbina wines their unique personality.


Salva Rioja Crianza, Rioja 2011 - £10,95

- Tasting note: Cherry red colour with garnet rim, with abundant tears. Intense, complex nose of red and black fruits, blackberry, raspberry and ripe cherry, with balsamic and spicy traces. Roasted cocoa, much minerality and hints of rain forest. Powerful and elegant on the palate, great structure, balanced and smooth with ripe black cherries flavoured with cocoa and spices. Refreshing acidity and minerality, with a long, lingering aftertaste.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 100% Tempranillo

- Alcohol volume: 14%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from over 25+ year old vines. The soil type is ferrous clay, calcareous clay and stony alluvial.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28 deg C and macerated for 28 days in stainless steel, this wine remains in 80% American and 20% French oak for 12 months and stabilizes naturally in stainless steel tanks for a year.


Bodegas Urbina Reserva Especial, Rioja 2001 - £20,00

- Reviews: Robert Parker, 90 points. "The 2001 Reserva Especial was produced from organically grown fruit from 50+ year old-vines. It was aged for 24 months in French and American oak. It is dark ruby-colored with a funky/earthy nose that also reveals crushed rock, spice box, and blanch cherry. Made in a traditional style, it is graceful on the palate wich silky red fruit, lively acidity, excellent balance, and a pure finish. It can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years".

- Tasting note: Dark rubyand very bright in colour. On the nose, medium intensity, fine black fruits, blanc cherries, ripe plum, leather and tobacco notes which integrate perfectly with the oak. On the palate, is round, silky smooth with refreshing acidity, elegant and very long.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 100% Tempranillo

- Alcohol volume: 14%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from average age 40+ year old vines used for the production Gran Reserva wines.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28 º C and macerated for 28 days in stainless steel tanks. Aged 2 years in French and American oak and at least 2 years in bottle prior to release. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the wine-making process which give the Urbina wines their unique personality.


Salva Rioja Reserva, Rioja 2010 - £18,95

- Tasting note: Black cherry colour, with upper middle layer. Clean and bright with intense, complex aromas of ripe black fruit, cedar, balsamic notes, mint, fresh toasted oak, coffee, cocoa and earthy notes. Very rich and full on the palate with noticeable acidity and wood notes perfectly assembled with red and black berries, currants, blackberries, menthol, nutmeg, chocolate, smoke and minerality finishing with velvety, round, soft tannins.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 100% Tempranillo

- Alcohol volume: 14%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from over 25+ year old vines. The soil type is ferrous clay, calcareous clay and stony alluvial.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28ºC and macerated for 28 days in stainless steel, this Reserva remains in 80% American and 20% French oak for 36 months and stabilizes naturally in stainless steel tanks for a year.


Bodegas Urbina Selection, Rioja 1999 £16,95

- Tasting note: Intense, dark ruby red colour. Very concentrated nose of berries, damsons, and figs. On the palate, full-bodied, rich fruit cake and savoury vanilla flavours, well-structured, mellow, firm tannins with the fine elegance of the Urbina marque.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: 100% Tempranillo

- Alcohol volume: 13%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from average age 40+ year old vines used for the production of Reserva / Gran Reserva wines.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28º C and macerated for 28 days. Aged for at least 15 months in oak casks. The wine will develop into a fine Reserva within 4 years if conserved at a temperature between 15º and 18º.


Bodegas Urbina Gran Reserva, Rioja 1996 - £22.50

- Tasting note: Colour reddish garnet. On the nose, powerful, complex and elegant. Rich vegetable and tobacco aromas, a perfect harmony of oak and glorious fruit. On the palate, intense rich fruit, prunes, dates and sweet raisin flavours, silky and creamy. A wine with great finesse and velvet smoothness, wondrous length and full finish.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 95% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano.

- Alcohol volume: 13%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from average age 40+ year old vines.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28ºC and macerated for 28 days. Aged for a least 36 months in oak casks and a further 48 months in bottle before relaease. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the wine-making process which give the Urbina wines their unique personality.


Bodegas Urbina Gran Reserva Especial, Rioja 1994 - £22.50

- Tasting note: Colour reddish garnet. On the nose, powerful, complex and elegant. Rich vegetable and tobacco aromas, a perfect harmony of oak and glorious fruit. On the palate, intense rich fruit, prunes, dates and sweet raisin flavours, silky and creamy. A wine with great finesse and velvet smoothness, wondrous length and full finish.

- Origin: D.O.C Rioja Alta, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron. (España)

- Varieties: Hand-picked 95% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano.

- Alcohol volume: 13%

- Viticulture: A selection of only the very best Tempranillo grapes from average age 40+ year old vines.

- Enology: The wine is produced by the team of winemakers heades by Pedro Benito Urbina.

- Elaboration: Fermented at 28ºC and macerated for 28 days. Aged for a least 36 months in oak casks and a further 48 months in bottle before relaease. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the wine-making process which give the Urbina wines their unique personality.


PEDRO BENITO SÁEZ URBINA (RIOJA WINEMAKER)

- Title: Vinegrower - Oenologist - Sommelier - Winemaker
- Company Name: Bodegas Urbina - Since 2005 to present (10 years).
- Location: Calle Campillo 34 - 35 Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón (La Rioja - Spain).

Professional Experience:
- 2014 Appointed new member of the "Cofradía del Vino de Rioja".
- 2012 Partner of the newspaper "Diario La Rioja". Spreading the culture of wine, with a full page every week. Seventh oldest newspaper in Spain that publishes and distributes since 1889, with a current circulation of about 16,000 copies a day.
- 2010 Appointed member of the "Association of sommeliers from Rioja".
- 2009 Nominated Golden Nose of La Rioja (The most prestigious sommelier competition in Spain): Over 400 working professionals attend each year to become the new Golden Nose.
- 2006 Appointed member of the Committees Tasting the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Rioja.
- 2005-2014 Bodegas Urbina (La Rioja - Spain): Head of Sales; Development and production of wine; Maintenance of the vineyard.
- 2003-2004 Frey Vineyards (California - USA): Organization and presentation of wine tastings; Representative at trade shows; Winemaking and wine production; Maintenance Vineyard.

Education:
- 2004-2005 Technician in wine making: I.E.S Duques de Najera, Logroño (La Rioja - Spain)
- 1999-2003 BS Business Administration / Marketing - Business Studies (San Jose State University, San Jose, USA)
- 1998-1999 Ukiah High School, USA


RIOJA WINE REGION

Rioja, the leading wine region of spain, producing predominantly red wines in the north of the country. Named after the rio (river) Oja, a tributary of the river Ebro, most of the Rioja wine region lies in the autonomous region of La Rioja in north east Spain, although parts of the zone extend into the neighbouring basque country to the north west and navarra to the north east.

Centred on the regional capital Logroño, Rioja divides into three zones along the axis of the river Ebro. Rioja Alta occupies the part of the Ebro valley west of Logroño and includes the wine-making town of Haro Rioja Alavesa is the name given to the section of the zone north of the river Ebro which falls in the Basque province of Alava Rioja Baja extends from the suburbs of Logroño south and east to include the towns of Calahorra and Alfaro.


CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY

Rioja enjoys an enviable position among Spanish wine regions. Sheltered by the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and west, it is well protected from the rain-bearing Atlantic winds that drench the Basque coast immediately to the north. Yet Rioja’s wine producers rarely experience the climatic extremes that burden growers in so much of central and southern Spain. It is difficult to make climatic generalizations, however, about a region that stretches about 120 km/75 miles from north west to south east. Indeed, Spanish critics argue that within this sigle DO there are several entirely different wine-producing regions.

The vineyards range in altitude 300 m/984 ft above sea level at Alfaro in the east to nearly 800 m on the slopes of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north west. Average annual rainfall increases correspondingly from less than 300 mm/12 in in parts of Rioja Baja to over 500 mm in the upper zones of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.

Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa share a similar climate and are distinct from from ecah other for mainly administrative reasons, although there are soil differences between the two. Many of the best grapes are grown here on the cooler slopes to the north west around the towns and villages of Haro, Labastida, San Vicente, Laguardia, Elciego, Fuenmayor, Cenicero, and Briones. These zones share similar clay soils based on limestone. Downstream to the east, the climate becomes gradually warmer with rainfall decreasing to less than 400 mm at Logroño. Where the valley broadens, there is a higher incidence of fertile, alluvial soils composed chieflv of silt. Around Calahorra and Alfaro in Rioja Baja the climate is more mediterranean. In summer, drought is often a problem here, and temperatures frequently reach 30 to 35 °C/ 95 °F.


VITICULTURE AND VINE VARIETIES

Seven grape varieties (four red. three white) qualify for Rioja's Denominación de Origen and their distribution varies in different: parts of the region. The most widely planted variety is the probably indigenous, black Tempranillo, which ripens well on the clay and limestone slopes of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, where it forms the basis for the region’s best wines and in the mid 2000s was planted on nearly 40,000 of the regions 62,000 ha/153,000 acres of vineyard.

Most Riojas are blends of more than one variety, however, and wines made from the garnacha vine, which after phylloxera superseded native varieties in the Rioja Baja, are often used to add body to Tempranillo, which can taste thin on its own in cooler vintages. On its own. Garnacha produces hefty alcoholic red wines. Rioja, like neighbouring Navarra, produces rosé entirely from Garnacha grapes. Two further red varieties Mazuelo (Cariñena or carignan) and Graciano, are of relatively minor importance. Although Mazuelo is not especially prized for quality, the indigenous Graciano great potential, contributing to the 310 and structure of the wine. Owing to its susceptibility to disease and its low productivity, Graciano fell from favour with Rioja´s  vine-growers before a strong revival in the 1990s when the area devoted to this variety grew back to 200 ha/500 acres and varietal versions are no longer oddities.

The Cabernet Sauvignon vines which arrived with the French in the 19th century are
allowed by special dispensation in vineyards belonging to the Marques de Riscal. Several other companies have experimental plantings of this Bordeaux grape, and of white imports such as Chardonnay.


Historically, until Phylloxera arrived, Rioia's chief white grape variety was Malvasia. On its own, it produced rich, alcoholic, dry white wines which responded well to ageing in oak. However, Viura (known elsewhere in Spain as Macabeo) took over as the most planted light-berried variety in the region and from the early 1970s, fresher-tasting, cool-fermented, early-bottled white wines were in Fashion all over Spain. By the 1990s, most white Riojas were made exclusively from Viura, and Malvasia vines were extremely difficult to find, although some of the traditional oak-aged whites and new barrel-fermented wines are blends of Malvasia and Viura.

Vineyards in Rioja tend to be small, especially in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, where vines are often interspersed with other crops. Vines used to be free-standing Bush Vines trained into low goblet shapes, but of the thousands of hectares of new vineyard which have been planted since the 1970s, most are trained on Wires. This resulted in a marked and alarming increase in yields in the region in the 1990s, even before irrigation was legalized in the late 1990s. Official DO limits are 63 hl/ha (3.5 tons/acre) for white wines and 45 hl/ha for red wines. In 1998, there were about 50,000 ha of authorized vineyards, producing an average of about 2 million hl/53 million gal of wine, of which about 80 per cent was red.


WINE-MAKING

Grapes are usually delivered to large, central wineries belonging either to one of the cooperatives or to a merchant’s bodega. Most wineries in Rioja are reasonably well equipped with a modern stainless steel plant and facilities for temperature control.

Rioja wine-making is characterized not by fermentation techniques but by barrel maturation, however, and the shape and size of the 225-l barrica bordelesa introduced by the french in the mid 19th century is laid down by law. The regulations also specify the minimum ageing period for each officially recognized category of wine. In Rioja, red wines labelled crianza and reserva must spend at least a year in oak, while a gran reserva must spend at least two years. In common with other Spanish wine regions, American oak has been the favoured wood type for wine maturation. New American oak barrels give the soft, vanilla flavour that has become accepted as typical of Rioja, but a similar effect can also be achieved by slow, oxidative maturation in older barrels. French oak is used, increasingly, however.


Over 40 per cent of all Rioja falls into one of the three oak-aged categories above (the rest is either white, rosé, or sold as young, unoaked joven red, much of it within Spain), and the larger bodegas therefore need tens of thousands of casks. In the late 1990s, the largest producer of Rioja, Bodegas Campo Viejo, maintained a stock of over 45,000 barricas. Most bodegas renew their barricas on a regular basis. New oak use is on the increase and the number of traditional producers who pride themselves on the age of their casks is dwindling. Some new producers are also spurning the tradional categories and bottling their oak-aged wine with a basic, generic Rioja back label.

After the widespread adoption of cool fermentation techniques in the 1970s, the amount of oak-aged white Rioja progressively diminished. López de Heredia, Marqués de Murrieta, and only a few other bodegas upheld the traditional style by ageing their white wines in oak barricas. For whites labelled Crianza, Reserva, or Gran Reserva, the minimum wood-ageing period is just six months with a further year, two years, or four years respectively before the wines may be released for sale. By the mid 1990s, a large number of producers had switched to fashionable barrel fermentation, however, in effect reviving the region’s traditional white wine vinification method.

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