2010 San Vicente Rioja is an absolute classic. As always it comes from a single vineyard called La Canoca, the highest in the San Vicente
de la Sonsierra region, planted with a unique, low yielding, charismatic variety called Tempranillo Peludo (or Hairy Tempranillo, so called
because of its hairy leaves). Aged for 22 months in all new barrels, 90% of which are French, the balance American, the Egurens describe
it as Neo-Classical as it harks back to winemaking techniques in the 1920s and 1930s when French winemakers arrived in Rioja, bringing
their winemaking styles with them. It is absolutely seamless, delivering layers of sweet graphite and earth-infused dark berry fruits, aromatic
herbs and minerals. Intense and long and still very silky, with almost no weight; it is a brilliant wine that delivers a plethora of flavours, while
remaining remarkably untouched by oak influence, such is the concentration of the wine. Stunning.
This is the flagship estate of the Egurens, a legendary Riojan winemaking family. Their zealous attention to detail and passion for making wine see them regularly produce some of Spain’s greatest wines year after year. The estate comprises one single 18 hectare vineyard, Finca la Canoca, planted with the high quality Tempranillo peludo clone on limestone clay soils. The vineyard is run as organically as possible and an exhaustive manual harvest is carried out, combined with a severe selection in the winery. Minimal extraction and judicious ageing in French and American oak make for a great modern style Rioja of complexity and fi nesse.
Spains most famous wine growing region is seeing something of a revolution. A band of new producers are shunning the traditional methods of production in a effort to gain greater purity of fruit, less dominant oak influence, and individual terroir characteristics. The results are wines that have the ability to age and improve in bottle, that have finesse, character and real elegance.