Finca Allende Tempranillo 2011
Aged in French oak barrels
Intense purple in color with powerful and elegant aromas of soft minerals, ink, fresh mint, mulling spice, wild herbs, toffee and cocoa. On the palate, the wine contains ripe tannins and complex flavors of black fruit, licorice, coffee and aromatic herbs. Long and persistent, this wine will age well for 15–20 years.
Located about 2.5 hours north of Madrid and the same distance to the Atlantic Ocean as Bordeaux’s famous Saint Émilion, the vines that go into the 2011 Finca Allende Tempranillo are planted around the village of Briones at an average elevation of 1,900 feet. Planted in deep iron and calcium-rich soils the majority of Finca Allende’s vines are head-pruned and span up to 70 years-old. Briones’ proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and nearby Sierra Cantabria mountain range provides the perfect combination for an ideal phenolic maturation: cold nights, warm days and four distinct seasons that cater to an ideal life cycle of the vine. Vineyards are estate-grown, organically fertilized, treated sustainably and often plowed by mules.
During harvest, grapes are transported to the winery in small 26-pound boxes and triple selected before a whole berry, cold, prefermentary maceration takes place at 41°F for six days. After this time, temperature-controlled alcoholic fermentation occurs with native yeasts at 82°F, over 16 days. Daily manual punch-downs and/or pump-overs take place three times a day, for a total skin maceration of 22 days. The finished wine is drained from tanks using gravity and then pressed using a traditional vertical press. Malolactic fermentations are performed in barrel and the resulting wine is aged for 14 months, during which time barrels are racked on average 3 times per month. After aging, the wine is neither filtered nor fined.
2011 began in Rioja Alta with cooler and drier-than-normal weather. A rainy and warm March replenished the region’s rather scarce hydric reserves and sparked the onset of bud-break during the second week of April. Bud break was followed by a rapid and intense vegetative development of the vines, where flowering took place during the first week of June. A rather dry summer and early fall led to an early veraison and promoted the final stages of a healthy phenolic maturation. Harvest began on the September 27th in the absence of rain, with slightly lower temperatures.