Pancrudo Terroir Selection 2015 vintage hits the market

Pre-mountainous Garnacha, from a cold area, in a year with a warmer profile

28 of July of 2017

Haro, 28 July 2017.- The GÓMEZ CRUZADO winery in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación is debuting the 2015 vintage of its PANCRUDO TERROIR SELECTION. This wine is an expression of Garnacha grown in a cold pre-mountainous area. The grapes are from old vineyards located across several different plots around the village of Badarán, in the Upper Najerilla Valley. The bush-trained vines, which are approximately 80 years old, grow in reddish ferrous clay soil on North-facing slopes at an elevation of about 650 meters. This wine takes its name from the Pancrudo mountains of the Sierra de la Demanda that overlooks these vineyards.

Oenologist David González defines PANCRUDO TERROIR SELECTION 2015 as a "village wine that portrays the unaltered expression of Garnacha". This wine belongs to a collection born from the winery’s desire to convey the expressions of very specific plots of land, and the truly unique characteristics that distinguish these plots from the rest, in a designation of origin as richly nuanced as Rioja.

This cultivation zone pushes the limits of the Garnacha variety. An extremely continental climate dominates the area. “The grapes from these vineyards stand out because of their strong fruitiness and marked acidity. In the past these vineyards were used to make rosé. But with a viticulture focused on the production of red wines, and considering the low yield and warmer weather in recent years, the latest vintages have ripened enough to create truly fine red wines” explains David González.

Meticulous viticulture, essential in cold regions

The result is a “pre-mountainous Garnacha” which is very different from the grapes of the same variety grown in warmer conditions. This so-called “cold” Garnacha is a late-ripening variety in a late region. When they finally ripen, these grapes make for very subtle, fruity wineswith great minerality”, notes González. González insists that the meticulous, manual labor, that is characteristic of the grape growers in the Upper Najerilla Valley is key to growing Garnacha in such a cold area.

“The 2015 vintage was characterized by a very long, cold and rainy winter. From June on the summer was very hot, so flowering occurred earlier than usual that month. Harvest began the first week of October which is 15 days earlier than usual” explains grape grower Juan Antonio Leza, who exercises the management of GÓMEZ CRUZADO in tandem with David González. “Thanks to the hydric resources stored during the winter, the vines were able to withstand such a hot summer”, adds Leza.

“A type of time-temperature indicator -which measures accumulated degrees to indicate when plants have completed their phenolic maturity- registered a third higher as compared to 2013. Compared to the limit vintages the 2013 and 2014, 2015 gives a warmer and more ripened profile, maintaining the freshness achieved in this area” explained Juan Antonio Leza.

PANCRUDO TERROIR SELECTION 2015 is crafted following traditional methods; fermentation takes place in open stainless steel vats. Gentle plunging carefully extracts noble compounds from the skins. And in line with the winery's ceaseless endeavor to incorporate theoretical and technological advances to achieve the purest expression of terroir, malolactic fermentation takes place in a cement egg-shaped tank and French oak barrels with a specially selected toast so as not to interfere with the wine's basic character. 65% of production ages for 12 months in new French oak barrels, while 35% spends this time in the egg-shaped tank.

 Through the 2015 vintage, which is limited to 3,820 bottles and 160 magnum bottles, PANCRUDO TERROIR SELECTION 2015 perfectly reflects GÓMEZ CRUZADO’S philosophy behind its collection of village wines that are faithful to their terroir and rooted in the land and local know-how of the most privileged areas in Rioja. This wine boasts acidic red fruit, and is delicate yet very fragrant. Mineral and saline notes make an appearance. Fresh yet persistent in the mouth. “It is an excellent representative of Garnacha grown in a cold area in a soil quite unlike any other in Rioja”, stresses Juan Antonio Leza.



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