Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bordeauxing Rioja: The Origin Stories of Manuel Quintano & Luciano de Murrieta

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Marqués de Murrieta
MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA
OAK BARRELS

IMAGE CREDIT: expansion.com
For my article this month I really didn't just want to do a "history of Rioja" or some expansive long read like that. I wanted a story. I wanted to write about a specific person or event with focus. 

I found many interesting stories about Rioja and the people in its history while searching for a subject. But the origin stories of the two guys that brought Bordeaux influence and oak barrel aging to the region caught my eye and sucked me in. One of them had a short success before pricing laws and war eliminated his efforts. Decades later, the other would make it stick.

They've been producing wine in Rioja since the Phoenicians. So about three-thousand years, give or take. The region doesn't have a great geographic position for exporting its wines elsewhere, but it does have a great geographic position to grow vines and make wine. Starting in the the middle ages, Rioja found itself in the path of a popular religious pilgrimage. It's called el Camino de Santiago, known as The Way of Saint James in English, and it takes believers to the city of Santiago de Compostela where, supposedly, the body of Saint James resides. Pilgrims would drink the local wine while passing through Rioja and end up spreading the word of its excellence. Rioja was built on a word-of-mouth reputation instead of export power.

But before Manuel Quintano came along in the 1700's, the wine was still stored underground in clay vessels. Like the vast majority of wine in the entire history of wine, it turned vinegary relatively quick and did not travel well. Much of it spoiled completely and had to be dumped. Rioja needed an upgrade.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Happy Saturnalia!

Happy Saturnalia, humans!

Never forget the reason for the season, mortals.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

December is A Very Rioja Red Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. I started with their 2013 Crianza, then moved on to their 2013 Reserva, and here I am with their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2010 Gran Reserva is 95% and 5% Graciano, all hand harvested from their better vineyards in the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled vats, which frequent dropping of the juice over the skins for more extraction. It's placed in French and American oak for malolactic fermentation, then manually racked. Time in oak is not specified, but after oak aging and before bottling it's clarified with egg whites.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Reserva 2013

December is A Very Rioja Red Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Reserva 2013

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. I've already done their 2013 Crianza, now I'm on their 2013 Reserva, and then I'll do their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2013 Reserva is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazeulo, all from the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. After cold maceration, the juice is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Then it's aged in new and second use barrels for twenty-two months, being racked every six months. It's clarified before bottling and has a final ABV of 13.5%.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2013

December is A Very Rioja Red Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2013

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. This here is their 2013 Crianza, then I'll do their 2013 Reserva, and then their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2013 Crianza is 90% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha, 3% Graciano, and 3% Mazeulo, all from the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. After being destemmed, the grapes are placed into stainless steel tanks to ferment as is for ten to twelve days. Once made into wine it's allowed malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, then aged in American oak barrels for thirteen to fourteen months while being racked every five to six months. The wine has a final ABV of 13.3%.

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