Hermanos Pecina Rioja Reserva 2013
95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano, 2% Garnacha. Peciña was founded in 1992 by La Rioja Alta’s long-time vineyard manager, Pedro Peciña. Pedro comes from a long line of grape growers, and grapes are in his blood. His family held 20 ha of great old vineyards around San Vincente, forming the basis of his new estate. In 2002, after 18 years at La Rioja Alta, Pedro left to devote himself entirely to his bodega. By now, he knew where all the best vineyards were, acquiring additional prime parcels exclusively on the left bank of the river, with its high elevations and chalky soil. From the beginning, Pedro’s winemaking has been utterly classic, and he uses his American oak barrels subtly. With an average age of 5-6 years, the wood is mainly neutral, providing textural richness but only background flavor notes. Pedro is preserving the diversity of the old vineyards, keeping varieties that others are ripping out. He uses no chemical fertilizers, nor does he induce fermentation. And he respects the traditional idea of blending to produce more complex, complete wines. Drawing on nearly a dozen different sites, he can create a diverse range of wines with remarkable consistency from vintage to vintage, which is one of the hallmarks of Rioja’s glorious past. Depending on the vintage, the grapes for the Crianza come from a combination of 3 vineyards; “El Codo,” “El Llano” and “Finca Iscorta” with an average of 40 years old. The grapes are destemmed and crushed, and fermented naturally with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks. Aged in used American oak for three years and hand racked four times employing the traditional “barrel to barrel” method, the wine then ages for at least an additional three years in bottle before being released on the market unfined and unfiltered. It is important to note the Reserva is not made every year. Many of the great bodegas of the past have abandoned the classic approaches that once made Rioja so singular. Pedro Peciña has joined the few surviving traditionalists to hope that this significant school of winemaking will endure.