Bodegas Ondarre, Ondarre Reserva, Rioja 2015
Leather, vanilla and spice of traditionally made Rioja enveloped in an elegant and textured palate.
Bodegas Ondarre was founded in 1985, with the aim of creating wines which showcase the region’s distinct terroirs. The cooperative winery is situated in the town of Viana which overlooks the Rioja Valley in Rioja Oriental. Bodegas Ondarre has formed trusted relationships with the highest quality growers in the area, with whom they have been working since 1985. The Reservas are Bodegas Ondarre’s most acclaimed wines, which win top awards and critical approval every year. They attribute their success to hard work in the vineyards and their continual investment in the winery and barrel stock. They use both French and American oak casks to help them obtain the character in their wines. They also produce a few thousand cases of a single varietal Graciano - a real rarity due to the low yielding nature of this variety.
A cold winter with high rainfall, followed by further rains in April and May created good soil water reserves. Weather patterns were mixed over the summer, with some rain, sunny days and overcast days, but véraison occurred on time and the growth cycle of the vines continued at a steady pace. September saw warm, sunny weather which encouraged the ripening of the berries. The grapes were exceptionally healthy and of very good quality at harvest.
The vineyards are situated on Rioja Valley’s northern hills on south-facing slopes, at an altitude of 550 metres above sea level. The vines, which have an average age of 25 years, are planted in uneven terrain due to several streams that run down the mountains that mark the northern border of Rioja. The soils are generally poor in nutrients and very shallow, just 30 to 35 centimetres in depth, which encourage the vines to send their roots deeper in search of nutrients and water. The soils vary from plot to plot, but there is a prevalence of clay based soils with high iron and chalk content. The clay content retains water, which nourishes the vines during the warm summers and the iron content is an essential nutrient for photosynthesis.
Each grape variety was fermented separately in temperature controlled vats at 28 to 30°C, which lasted for between 16 to 18 days. The wine was blended and then aged for 16 months in American and French oak Bordeaux type casks imparting subtle oak complexity. During the maturation the wine was racked four times, in order to gently extract phenolic compounds by oxygenating the wine. This produced a softer wine which exhibits great varietal fruit character.
Leather, vanilla and spice of traditionally made Rioja enveloped in a smooth and textured palate. Balanced, with ripe, wild strawberries and integrated tannins through to a long, lingering finish.
Tempranillo 75%, Mazuelo 15%, Garnacha 10%