Bodegas Hermanos Pecina is a relative newcomer to the Rioja wine scene, having been set up in 1992. Prior to this Pedro Pecina Crespo had been, for many years, the chief viticulturist at La Rioja Alta. The Bodega produced their first Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas in 1997, from the outset aiming to make traditional rioja but with modern expectations of the initial base wine. In a spotlessly clean, entirely gravity fed winery, the team create wonderful polished and bright examples of traditionally barrel aged Rioja, aged for far longer than the DOCa requirements. The oak is American, in keeping with traditional Rioja practices, and none of it is new. Racking is done manually in the age old method, from barrel to barrel using gravity alone, every six months. It is an expensive and time consuming method but one that ensures gentle treatment of the wine, exceptional oak integration, and the ability to monitor the development of every barrel twice a year. With just 50 hectares of vines all fruit is estate grown and comes exclusively from vineyards in the top quality Sonsierra region, on soils that have particularly high limestone content. The aim is to harvest grapes with exceptional freshness and concentration, the limestone giving the grapes the requisite acidity for extended ageing. When so many traditional riojas seem to be oak first and wine second, these finely tuned riojas are resolutely traditional, centred on excellent base material.