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Authentic Rioja from Bodegas Hermanos Pecina
10 April 2018

Bodegas Hermanos Pecina is a relative newcomer to the Rioja scene, setting up in the early 1990s. Head honcho, Pedro Pecina Crespo, had by 1992 spent many years at the esteemed La Rioja Alta estate as chief viticulturist and felt ready to go it alone. No surprise then that his project, on the high elevation, limestone frontier between the sub-zones of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, would yield a similarly bright, accomplished style of Rioja with bags of fresh, ripe acidity and honest Tempranillo fruit. From the very beginning, the goal was to produce traditional food-friendly Rioja but with modern expectations of what constituted a successful base wine. In a spotlessly clean, gravity fed winery, the wines are unfussed with, spontaneously fermented, and undergo malolactic fermentation in stainless steel before maturation in American oak casks, in keeping with tradition. Unlike most of their peers though, there is no new oak in the cellar, making for well-defined, lively wines of effortless drinkability and a pantheon of sweet red fruit, flowers, spices, and, with age, notes of earth, salt and iron.

The ageing process is lengthy: a minimum of twenty four months for Crianza and thirty six months for the Reserva, racking every six months and bottling without fining or filtration. Then they are kept at the estate in bottle for a minimum of eighteen months to ensure that the wines have time to open up again post-bottling. In reality though it is often much longer than that. What’s more, the estate’s proclivity for magnums means that although released ready to drink, they also hold and evolve beautifully for many years, as a recent tasting of mature vintages at the estate can attest to. Luckily for us, the whole range is offered at refreshingly affordable prices, which makes their beautiful wines accessible to all. Today’s 2006 offer is simple: delicious, authentic Rioja magnums to enjoy in true Spanish style, surrounded by family and friends.

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