Hacienda el Ternero Reserva Rioja Alta 2011
Hacienda el Ternero have made this fantastically concentrated Reserva from a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo. They create barrels just for this wine from French oak which have had a special toast for 26 minutes to impart the desired flavour. Concentrated black fruits and chocolate on the nose. The palate is full bodied with blackberries, black olives, dark chocolate, balsamic and wild herb notes. Grippy tannins balanced with the fresh acidity which is a characteristic of the area.
Ideal with roasts, especially game such as pheasant or pigeon, spicy cured meats as well as matrue cheeses.
The region of La Rioja lends its name to Spain`s most widely recognised wines. Much Rioja is blended from three districts; Alta and Alavesa to the north and the hot dry Oriental district to the south (previously known as Rioja Baja) and uses Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo red grape varieties and the diminishing influence of extended ageing in oak barrels.
Hacienda el Ternero dates back to 1077 AD, when it belonged to the Santa Maria de Herrerea Monastery. The chapel still remains in the estate to shelter the patron saint, la Virgen de la Pera. The village is part of the administrative area of Castilla y Leon as the church sold the land to the state at the begining of the 19th century. Despite this, the wine is classified as Rioja under the DOC regulatoins as geographically it falls well within the Rioja boundaries. The Bodega takes its name from the village of El Ternero where it is located. The village used to have just 156 people living there. In the 1960`s the entire village was sold to three Basque families who planted vineyards to sell grapes to large producers. In 2009, the current owner bought the village and launched the new brand of Hacienda el Ternero. Their 60 hectares of vineyards are in one of the highest areas of Rioja and sit at an altitude of 650m.