What We Say 2007 Fincas de Landaluce Crianza Rioja Tempranillo
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Mission Codename: The Phoenician
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Acquire a delicious and exclusive Rioja for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Bodegas Landaluce
Wine Subject: 2007 Fincas de Landaluce Crianza Rioja Tempranillo
Winemaker: Benito Escudero
Rioja Is the wine of the Navarre and Basque region of Spain (although the Basques would argue that it is actually Spain). Offically designated Denominación de Origen (or DOC, not to be confused with Italian Goria). The grapes must be local varietals and grown in one of the three Rioja zones. Wine has been produced in the area since the Phoenicians and Celtiberians originally cultivated the land in the 8th century.
Made of 100% Tempranillo, today’s wine is a superb example of the varietal, direct from the true home of Tempranillo.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet, with even coloring from core to edge. At the heart of the wine, it becomes much darker and slightly opaque. When swirled, tall, skinny legs form high up on the glass wall before moving slowly downward.
Smell – Sweet, dark and ripe, with dark cherry, spiced blackberry, dusty bramble, tobacco leaf, dark brown spice all working together in a lush, inviting harmony.
Feel – Cool and light on the initial attack, then quickly grippy with a spreading dryness that moves from the front of the palate, rearward. Flint and wet limestone provide a mineral base and bright acids give the wine a lively overall appeal.
Taste – Black cherry, plum, leather, tobacco leaf, black tea leaf, exotic dark spice, raw cocoa nib are the primary notes on the palate. These are underpinned by salty wet rock (limestone and flint), softly toasted oak, mocha, subtle wild fennel and a hint of black pepper.
Finish – Long and flavorful with dark fruit that that gently gives way to bramble, dusty earth and wet rock from the palate.
Conclusion – The 2007 Fincas de Landaluce Crianza Rioja Tempranillo is a delicious wine with plenty of dark fruit and a mineral-rich earthiness that our tasting panel loved. Bright acids make the wine an obvious companion for a rich meal. We paired our with Louisiana hotlinks, grilled artichokes and green beans. the pairing was divine. Having read other reviews of this wine, after writing our review, we were very surprised to see that powerful oak was an attribute that was called out. We did not find any such overoaking with this wine. Perhaps the wine has aged very gracefully since those other reviews, because we found the wine to be very easy on the palate, with its soft oak a compliment to the wine, rather than a distraction. Drink this delicious wine now, or cellar for the next few years.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast – “Forceful and fully oaked, with dark, minty black fruit flavors. The palate is a big rugged but solid as granite. Tastes toasty and roasted, with black fruit and licorice flavors front and center. Rolls along well on the finish, showing lemon zest and clove notes. Drink now through 2014.”
About This Wine:
Made using carefully selected grapes, harvested by hand when at optimum ripeness at our own vineyards in Laguardia: San Cristobal, La Media Legua, Prado de las Albas and La Laguna. Grown on vines aged between 20 and 40 years old.
The grapes were destemed and then fermented in 25,000-litre stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 28 30-ºC. After a 15-to-20-day maceration, the malolactic fermentation took place in order to ensure the right acidity. It was then aged in french oak barrels for 12 months.
Appearance: Dark cherry red with good robe.
Aroma: Wonderful scent and richness, combines rich red fruits with some spice and hints of vanilla.
*Taste: * Rounded on the palate with lots of layers of red fruit and some smoky characters; savory and complex with fine tannins and freshness on the finish
About The Winery:
The secret lies in the raw material: we have 30 hectares, of which the bodega owns 15 and works the others on lease.
Old gobelet-trained vines formed by three irregular arms rising to one metre from the ground. If an arm breaks of falls off due to age, it is replaced by a new shoot from the base. This allows the individual clusters of grapes to air, without touching each other.
We use old vineyards because we consider that the balance of production achieved cannot be matched, because the depth of their roots and the volume of soil covered reduces the impact of drought or excessive rainfall and because they bring greater complexity to the grapes.
Planted mainly with Tempranillo, a variety originally from Rioja, famed for its potential to produce quality wines. It gives medium−to−large clusters, with morphologically similar grapes, with thick waxy skins and a characteristic dark black colour.
The wines are mild, velvety and fruity when young, with a special bright ruby colour, and reach their maximum expression after careful aging in oak.
We know the type of soil and its characteristics, age and orientation as well as its historical yield.
In order to decide when to start the harvesting, the frequency of visits to each vineyard is stepped up to three times a week from the beginning of the ripening process, with samples taken of 200 grapes from different plots, analysing parameters such as grape volume, probable degree and sugar content, pH, and weight.
In this way, we separate up the grapes into their different categories, so that when they are picked we can make a rough calculation of how many grapes we have in each plot, when each one should be picked and what type of wines we should use them for.
Wine Type: Crianza
Grape Varieties: 100% tempranillo.
Ageing: 12 months in French oak barrels.
Vineyards: Located in Laguardia, with vines between 20 and 40 years old. At the San Cristobal, La Media Legua, Prado de las Albas y La Laguna estates.
Soil Type: Clay – Chalky.
Alcohol Content: 13,5% vol.