Last May we were extremely pleased to read the reviews which had been written by Luis Gutiérrez for The Wine Advocate (originally published by Robert Parker). His overall commentary on our wines and on the general trend for Finca la Emperatraiz was extremely positive, but we were particularly happy to read that, according to the author, Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2010, “summarizes what a textbook Rioja Reserva should be“.
After sufficient time in bottle, we now feel that the wine has had enough time to complete the first part of the ageing process and be considered ready to taste and to begin to enjoy its aromas of cocoa, cigar box, with a hint of organe peel over a background of ripe cherries and plums, before progressing to a smooth palate of rich but polished tannins.
Finca La Emperatriz Reserva is one of our classic blends, which means that it has been blended from different plots on our vineyard, using vines of different ages and varieties. In this particular case, Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2010, the final blend is made up of 94% Tempranillo, 3% Garnacha, 2% Viura and 1% Graciano, the grapes having been picked from vines grown on plots number 4, 11, 14 and 15 on our single estate in the village of Baños de Rioja.
Coincidentally we have also just racked our 2011 Reserva, a traditional process which is still carried out manually in our winery. As the wine ages, sediment forms at the bottom of the barrel and by racking off the wine into another barrel we are gradually cleansing the wine and leaving behind the impurities. At the same time, we can taste each barrel, following its progress and understanding what part it may have to play in the final blend, before we bottle the wine. This is just one step in the very long process that begins in the vineyard over one year, but then lasts around another four years in our winery, ageing first in barrel and then in bottle.