In Rioja Alta, this vineyard comprises Trellised vines with an average age of 25 years. The soil is an impressive layer or large white pebbles with a depth of about 40 cm covering loose, sandy sub-soil. This is ideal soil to grow vines as it has excellent drainage, great exposure to light and allows for the perfect placement of the roots so that they may receive nutrients.
2017 is remembered as the ‘frost vintage’ where Finca La Emperatriz losses were close to 35%; many late sprouting bunches had to be removed so to not affect overall vintage quality.
It was one of the warmest vintages that can be remembered with very low rainfall of 381 mm.
Although many in Rioja will remember the year as catastrophic vintage due to frost; there is a silver lining. Yields were low which made vines (especially Tempranillo) prosper in the given conditions, without defoliation due to excess heat and drought. This would have otherwise led to imperfect maturation. Manual harvest took place between September 25th and 30th; the grapes brought to the winery were in great shape and had reached full phenolic ripeness. This was a pleasant ending to a vintage with challenging conditions.
At the winery, tempranillo and viura were vatted at the same time in stainless steel tanks. As of this vintage, indigenous yeasts were also being used. Malolactic fermentation was completed in stainless steel and concrete tanks . In March, the wine is transported to age 70% American and 30% French oak barrels for 12 months
A serious style of Rioja; dry, medium-full bodied, elevated tannin and acid. This wine is about dried earth, cedar, dried savoury herbs such as dill and tobacco. The fruit is tart and dried red and black cherry with currants. There are notes of tar, dried leather and sweet and sour sauce. This an incredibly balanced and savoury wine.
drink now or age for 10+ years
Roasted rack of lamb, gourmet burgers and tomato-based dishes