Wine history : Michel Rolland, surely the world’s most renowned French winemaker, and Javier Galarreta – the Spanish Wine Visionary – have done it again; they have crafted another great Rioja Alavesa wine for the R&G range in addition to the existing Rioja, Ribera and Rueda wines. Selected grapes are used grown by Bodegas y Viñedos Labastida from superb vineyard plots of an average age of 60+ years and high altitude around the village of Labastida, the cradle of Rioja Alavesa. From these old plots totalling only 8 hectares, wine is made and laid down to age in 132 barrels of the best new American oak. Only the very best selection of these barrels, approximately 100 only in total, are earmarked to be blended and to create this new Rolland Galarreta wine – the new, exclusive and limited release Rolland Galarreta Esencia. “Esencia” in Spanish means “Of The Essence”, this wine is the essence of old vine Tempranillo. The secret of Esencia is the quality of the selected fruit, thereafter the best and most careful winemaking is applied to craft this “gem”. Two cultures and two different winemaking styles but a common goal brought together this premium project that believes in Spain´s excellent terroir to make great quality wines with real projection in the international markets.
Alcohol : 14 % vol
Harvesting : Vintage 2012 was rated by DOCa Rioja as «Very Good ». This year, highly influenced by the drought, offered high-quality wines despite the lower production compared to previous years. Generally speaking, vineyards presented good vegetative characteristics and healthy grapes throughout the entire cycle. The intense heat intensified the work in the fields to assure the optimal evolution of the grapes. The rainfall at the end of September positively influenced the maturation of the grapes and helped the balance of the fruit between alcohol content and polyphenols. Plots matured irregularly so timing the harvest and grape selection were key to producing great wines with high ageing potential.
Wine-making / Breeding : Exhaustive cluster selection done in the field during manual harvest. Fruit is transported in small crates to the winery were selection is excelled with optical grain selection made by Vistalys. Destemming without crushing assures that the grains go into the vat for fermentation in perfect status. Grapes are maintained in temperature controlled conditions, with long cold macerations to enhance polyphenols extraction. Alcoholic fermentation is made in oak vats with cap submerged. Must does not support mechanical processes and pressing is gently done using pneumatic and vertical presses. Malolactic fermentation takes place in brand new American oak barrels. Cold-hot rooms are used at specific times to help the malolactic fermentation process and the stabilisation of the wine. This wine is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels and fined for at least another 12 months in bottle. Non-filtered.
Average age of vine : 60 Years Old or over
Tasting Robe : Lovely deep dark cherry red color.
Tasting Nose : Ripe and concentrated fruit aromas, with mineral and spice traces, and notes of blackberry and blueberry jam wrapped in creamy oak and tones of toffee and café au lait.
Tasting Palate : Concentrated and fatty in the center, well-balanced and sweet with fine tannin. Very long and expressive, leaving a clear impression of the character of the terroir.
Pairing : Suggested for dishes such as marmitako, which is a traditional Basque stew prepared by fishermen and made with tuna, tomatoes and green peppers. It goes well with lamb dishes, beef steak and grilled sea bream.
Tasting temperature : 16-18°C