`Museum` Cigales Reserva 2015, Finca Museum
Spain / Castilla Y Leon
Andy's Tasting Notes
I was getting a bit frustrated that many Ribera del Duero reds around this price point were not delivering on price and quality – generally over extracted and heavy handed. Then I came across this rich yet elegant example from the neighbouring region of Cigales (situated to the north-west of Ribera del Duero).
Produced from the same local Tempranillo variant (Tinta del Pais) as in Ribera, this is a beautifully balanced wine with a fragrant, concentrated yet supremely poised character. Not a blockbuster, but all the better for it.
Deep ruby red in colour, this wine opens with aromas of red berries, blackcurrants and cranberries. Savoury spice and liquorice with hints of roasted hazelnut on a long finish.
Production notes …
The Museum Reserva is made from dry-farmed bush vines that are over 70 years old, planted at an altitude of 750 metres above sea level. The yields are extremely low, between 1 – 2.5 tonnes per hectare, giving the wine outstanding concentration and intensity. Soils are very poor, with layers of gravel, sand, limestone and chalk over clay, which also leads to intensely flavoured grapes.
Budbreak arrived early in the spring. During the flowering stage, a change in weather conditions brought rain and wind and produced significant coulure which meant a 30% reduction in production. The summer was very dry and warm, helping the remaining grapes to ripen fully. The vintage started quite early, with ideal conditions for harvesting high quality grapes.
The grapes were hand harvested into small crates to avoid them being crushed before they reached the winery. Grapes were sorted manually in the winery and then de-stemmed. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at 27 – 30ºC. It continued for 15 days with pumping over for maximum extraction of flavour and colour. Next, the wine spent 20 months in new French oak barrels giving it complexity and roundness.
Price per bottle £17.75
Finca Museum is based in Cigales, a small DO located in Castilla y León, east of Valladolid. Although the area was once known for its dry rosados, it is the Tinta del País, a thicker skinned Tempranillo, that excels today. The continental climate of Cigales (with temperatures reaching 40°C in the summer, even at 700 metres above sea level) and the soils poor in organic matter combine to ensure low yields and great wines. The vines are on average 40 years old and one of the reasons they have survived is because the soils are too poor to grow other crops such as cereal. As the name suggests, the winery is also a museum, with sculpture and paintings dating back to the 17th century.
Food matchCottage pie