This is a new star of Rioja. For more than a century the Mendoza family made wines solely for family and friends in a small ancient cellar in the castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta. In 1994, the family restored an old distillery building to start a new winery: Bodegas Castillo de Mendoza with cellars carved out of the local rock. This estate was one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in Rioja, beginning down this path in 2000. The vines are tended by hand and the yields low. The wines are exceptional and several are held back in the deep cellars for release only when they are at their very peak.
The organically farmed vineyards are located in the prestigious Rioja Alta region near the Sierra Cantabria, which benefits from high diurnal varation and well-drained limestone marl soils which encourage the roots to penetrate deep into the subsoil in the search for nutrients.
Grape Variety: 80% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano
Farming Practices: The grapes are sorted in the vineyard then the bunches are destemmed and crushed. Are warm alcoholic fermentation is followed by malolactic fermentation took place in new French and American oak barrels where the wine remains on its lees for 18 months. It is aged for a further 12 months in bottle before release.
Tasting Notes: A dark, rich red with complex flavours of cassis, espresso and licorice overlaid with hints of toasty oak. Long, ripe tannins, serious quality for Crianza.
Food Match: Drink with veal meatballs or suckling pig
Sugar Level: 0.09g/l
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