Montes Obarenes Terroir Selection 2015 is unveiled as a white with great aging potential faithful to Rioja’s native varieties

A unique wine for winelovers seeking great whites with the virtue of longevity

26 of September of 2018

The GÓMEZ CRUZADO winery located in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación has unveiled the 2015 vintage of MONTES OBARENES SELECCIÓN TERROIR, a fine example of Rioja’s great white wines. From an early and warm vintage, this wine boasts freshness instilled in it by its geographical origin: a cold area in the Northwest corner of Rioja DOCa that tests the limits of grape-growing.

MONTES OBARENES SELECCIÓN TERROIR 2015 faithfully harnesses Rioja’s native varieties to transmit a style of wine with typicity and rooted in its origins. Viura is the dominant variety in a blend with white Tempranillo (25%). “White Tempranillo is a variety that grows very well in cool climates, such as that under the influence of the MONTES OBARENES. This climate instills the wine with more roundness in the mouth and notes of white and stone fruits. It also makes our Rioja whites stand out with originality," notes David González, winemaker at GÓMEZ CRUZADO. The 2015 vintage of our white Tempranillo is "more mature, with greater volume in the mouth. We decided to increase the percentage of white Tempranillo in the blend in order to intensify the wine and make it denser and more unctuous," González explains.

MONTES OBARENES is born on vineyards around the town of Haro (west of the Crags of Haro) which are rooted in calcareous clay soil with a significant amount of limestone. The climate is defined by the MONTES OBARENES which serve as the natural border between the Basque Country and La Rioja, Spain - and for which this wine is named. This mountain range provides protection from the more severe Atlantic climate. The weather conditions of this area push the limits of grape-growing, and the cool climate clearly impacts the wine’s profile. "This colder climate is ideal for growing white Tempranillo as it preserves the grapes’ freshness. Especially during the most recent warmer years, the advantages of these late-ripening areas have become more notable. Such locations, in addition to low-yield viticulture, strongly favor the ageing capacity of white Tempranillo," adds González.

The viticulturist-winemaker further elaborates: "We know that in these late-ripening areas harvest will begin later in the year. So we prepare the vineyards for a harvest that may very well occur during the rainy season." To this end, "we defoliate so that the vineyard is more aerated, thus favoring ripening. We also utilize an organic pest control for grape moth that uses sexual confusion to avoid botrytis developing at a later stage".

MONTES OBARENES SELECCIÓN TERROIR is the new face of Rioja’s great whites founded in the winemakers’ meticulous and demanding work ethic with the grapes in the vineyard and in the cellar. Production includes a combination of fermentation and aging on lees in new French oak barrels for approximately 80% of the wine, and aging on lees in an ovoid concrete tank for the other 20%, which brings out the silkiness, breadth in the mouth and respect for minerality. Thanks to their long history working with different cooperages, GÓMEZ CRUZADO can select the perfect barrel for fermenting and ageing its white wines: a very lightly toasted French oak barrel is chosen precisely because it does not interfere with the pure expression of the original wine, even using steamed barrels".

Vintages with well-structured wines

The 2015 vintage has proven to be an outstanding vintage that began with an unusually rainy winter, with heavy snowfall in the higher elevation areas of this designation of origin. The growing season took place under high temperatures, thus the vines’ photosynthetic apparatus developed very quickly. Flowering also occurred early and berry growth took place in one of the warmest July’s in recent years. August was dry and cooler with a wide thermal range between day and night. The end result was an early harvest for well-structured wines with good potential for ageing.

MONTES OBARENES underscores the concept of terroir which views man’s influence on the wine as equally important as the soil, climate, and variety, in terms of the final result. Viura and white Tempranillo undergo intense, assiduous work in fermentation and ageing on lees and in the bottle to achieve a fresh white with typicity and great ageing potential. A truly unique white wine designed to evolve in the bottle. A wine with strong aromatic power that offers wine lovers a unique take on great whites and boasts the virtue of longevity," declares winemaker González.

GÓMEZ CRUZADO'S SELECCIÓN TERROIR includes a limited edition of the 2015 vintage of MONTES OBARENES -3.607 bottles of 0.75 cl and 203 magnum bottles (150 cl)- along with the limited editions of two red wines: CERRO LAS CUEVAS – a clear expression of the Atlantic-influenced climate at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria, old bush-trained vines rooted in white calcareous clay soils around the town of Leza (Rioja Alavesa); and PANCRUDO which embodies the 80 year-old vineyard planted in the red ferrous clay soil of Badarán near the Sierra de la Demanda, a cold pre-mountaneous region that demands meticulous grape-growing.

GÓMEZ CRUZADO'S SELECCIÓN TERROIR came about as part of the winery’s renovation currently underway led by viticulturist-winemakers Juan Antonio Leza and David González to reflect the century-old winery’s desire to explore the diversity of Rioja and portray the expressions of specific plots of land with truly unique and remarkable characteristics.



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