2018 Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Crianza, Tudelilla, Rioja, Spain

Intense red cherry colour. Aromas of red fruits, strawberry, raspberry and cranberry framed by fine nuances of spices, vanilla and toffee. Well balanced and full-bodied wine, with very round tannins. Silky and structured on the palate. It has a sweet and very enveloping attack with a long and pleasant aftertaste. Pleasant reminders of vanilla, spices and toffee.

Grape Variety: 80% Tempranillo 20% Garnacha

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£13.75

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2018 Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Crianza, Tudelilla, Rioja, Spain

Tasting Note

Intense red cherry colour. Aromas of red fruits, strawberry, raspberry and cranberry framed by fine nuances of spices, vanilla and toffee. Well balanced and full-bodied wine, with very round tannins. Silky and structured on the palate. It has a sweet and very enveloping attack with a long and pleasant aftertaste. Pleasant reminders of vanilla, spices and toffee.

Food Pairing

Pasta, pizza, poultry and grilled red meat.

Producer Info

Based in the village of Tudelilla in the Rioja Baja area, this bodega was founded by Quintin Ortega, a local cooper in 1896. It is now run by his great grandson Carmelo Ortega, assisted by winemaker David Bastida. The ancient vines (some original plantings made by Quintin) are goblet pruned and only organic fertilizers are used. All harvesting is by hand and traditional winemaking techniques are followed, using a mixture of French and American oak barrels for ageing. The soils of Tudelilla are calcerous clay and are of poor fertility, making them ideal for fine wine production, but what makes the village stand out is the Pedriza, an area of around 700 hectares which is covered in large flat stones, similar to the galets found in Châteauneuf-du- Pâpe. These help control temperatures and moisture in the vineyards and combined with the ancient vines planted on these soils, give wines with a strong identity.

Regional Info

Rioja in Northern Spain is best known for berry-scented, barrel-aged red wines made from Tempranillo and Garnacha. It is arguably Spain’s top wine region. It is certainly the most famous, rivalled only by Jerez. The vineyards trace the course of the Ebro River for roughly 100 kilometers between the towns of Haro and Alfaro.

The Cantabrian Mountains, which flank Rioja to the north and west, provide shelter from cold, wet influences of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a significant factor in the local climate, which is significantly warmer and drier than that just to the north. The region’s soils vary from place to place, with the finest containing high levels of limestone.

Rioja Oriental (formerly Rioja Baja) is the eastern section of the Rioja zone. The climate here is much more heavily influenced by the Mediterranean. Dryer and warmer than the other two regions, there is more emphasis on Garnacha here. Wines can be markedly fuller in body than those from the other subregions.

Crianza red wines are aged for at least one year in oak, and one year in bottle. They are released in the third year.

Production Method

In the winery, the grape is de-stalked and slightly crushed. The fermentation temperatures are controlled up to 28-29ºC and the de-vatting is fast when it is perceived that the colour extraction has reached optimal levels. Subsequently, the wine is put into the barrels, where it will remain for 14-16 months. The wine will be aged 70% of the time in new American oak barrels and 30% in second-year used French barrels.

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