Gómez Cruzado Montes Obarenes Rioja Blanco (Atlantic Viura) 2016
Spain / Aragon
Andy's Tasting Notes
What you get when you combine wonderful quality grapes with top quality understated wine-making. A white Rioja of truly impressive complexity, clarity, sophistication and subtlety. Everything perfectly integrated – fruit, minerality, acid and oak.
75% Viura, 25% Tempranillo Blanco
Production notes – The fruit is sourced from vineyards near Haro, at the foot of Montes Obarenes, where soils are chalkyclay with a high limestone content. Here the River Ebro enters the Rioja region bringing clouds and cooler temperatures, resulting in excellent quality white grapes. Predominantly Viura, with 25% Tempranillo Blanco – the grapes are hand-picked into 200Kg crates, and are hand-sorted further at the winery. 80% of the must is fermented and aged on fine lees in new French oak barrels, and the remaining 20% is aged on fine lees in egg-shaped concrete tanks.
Gómez Cruzado is working towards certification under the Decalogue of Integral Sustainability for the Agri-Food Industry developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, for its commitment to the permanent improvement of the sustainability of its activities, including its supply chain, its local economy and consumers, its workers, its environmental footprint management, its energy management, its ethical conduct, its biodiversity work, its ecodesign, its waste management and its research and development work.
In the winery, Gómez Cruzado is constantly making incremental improvements such as reducing its use of sulphur, using more recycled and recyclable materials, and reducing its energy and water waste through investment in energy-efficient practices and implementation of water conservation programmes. Gómez Cruzado’s vineyard efforts are centered around preserving its old bush-trained vines from which it can create great wines, strongly rooted in their terroir. Historical practices of sustainable and thoughtful viticulture and wine-making are also continued as they are both a part of the estate’s cultural legacy and a part of its commitment to respecting and protecting the environment in the future. All vineyard work is done manually. The estate is also examining the possibility of a move towards gaining organic certification.
Price per bottle £42.00
The Gómez Cruzado winery dates back to 1886 when Angel Gómez de Arteche started to produce and bottle his own wine in Haro, at the very heart of Rioja Alta. This was in the day when the wine trade between Rioja and France passed along the Tudela-Bilbao line, and the key Rioja wineries were located around the station of Haro. The winery sits just 100m from the station to this day.
Juan Antonio Leza (viticulturalist)
Subsequently bought by Angel and Jesus Gomez Cruzado in 1916, and more recently by the Baños family, David González (winemaker) and Juan Antonio Leza (viticulturalist) now head up the winemaking team. They have been working with Gomez Cruzado for over 10 years, crafting wines from vineyards of old bush vines in the most elevated areas of Rioja Alta and Alavesa. They source from almost a hundred different plots across 3 distinct regions: Alto Najerilla, Bajo Najerilla and Sierra Cantabria. Sierra Cantabria (Rioja Alta and Alavesa): Vines grow in poor, white, chalky-clay soils, on sunny slopes at the highest part of the sierra (up to 750m altitude) – where the Mediterranean and Atlantic climates meet. The area produces wines with freshness and elegance. Bajo Najerilla (Rioja Alta): in the triangle formed by the villages of Uruñuela, Cenicero and Torremontalbo, where the Najerilla river flows into the River Ebro. Tempranillo vines grown in alluvial soils at an average altitude of 500m – in a warmer, more temperate continental climate with a notable Mediterranean influence. Wines have high maturity and excellent ageing capacity. Alto Najerilla (Rioja Alta): Garnacha vines over 80 years old, planted in ferrous clay soil at around 750m altitude, on north-facing slopes near the Sierra de la Demanda. The continental climate confers strong fruitiness and marked acidity on the resulting wines.
Food matchBaked rice / Paella