DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Red Spanish Varietal Over £15
Rodríguez Sanzo, La Senoba, Rioja, Spain 2009 (13.5%)
Beautifully aromatic, with spicy fruit and classic lines. Juicy blackberry nose with herbal, garrigue notes and black olives over a fresh, zesty palate with a parsnip undertone and a chocolatey finish. Floral and delicious.
UK £22; Okw
Tasted against • Fuentespina, F, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2009 • Luis Cañas, Selección de la Familia, Rioja Reserva, Spain 2006 • La Rioja Alta, 890, Rioja Gran Reserva, Spain 1998 • Ferrer Bobet, Selecció Especial Vinyes Velles, Priorat, Spain 2010
Rioja’s success in the two International Red Spanish Varietal Trophy categories has been unrivalled for the past five years, and here the region triumphs once again, despite competition from Ribera del Duero, Priorat and arguably more prestigious Riojas. But this youngster impressed with its original character.
This is a Rioja with several plus points to its name: refinement and complexity plus great aromatic precision coming, no doubt, from its biodynamic origins. It’s also an unusual blend of 50% Graciano and 50% Tempranillo, but this gives great finesse, with stylish acidity.
Javier Rodriguez is the dynamic winemaker and vine-grower behind La Senoba. He respects the traditional cultivation methods of the region with the introduction of biodynamic principles. The grapes come from 60-year-old vines located in the Sierra de la Demanda, at an altitude of 620 metres.
Fermentation is in 4,000- and 6,000-litre wooden tanks. Tempranillo and Graciano are vinified and aged separately in French and Hungarian oak. Blending takes place only after 12 months, with a further six months in oak and 12 months in bottle before release.
Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW