Wine guide Vivir el Vino names Cerro Las Cuevas Terroir Selection Best Wine Revelation of the Year

Sommelier Raúl Serrano performed a blind tasting of 1,500 references to select 11 “magnificent” wines and projects

07 of November of 2016

Haro, 07 November 2016.- This year’s edition of the VIVIR EL VINO guide book has chosen CERRO LAS CUEVAS 2013 SELECCIÓN TERROIR from GÓMEZ CRUZADO, located in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación, as the Revelation of the Year Wine in a selection of eleven best wines and projects. Sommelier Raúl Serrano performed a blind tasting of 1,500 wines to compile a list of 365 wines - one for each day of the year – and highlighted 11 “magnificent” wines and projects from this selection. The awards ceremony will take place on November 21 in Madrid.

This wine forms part of GÓMEZ CRUZADO SELECCIÓN TERROIR which is a product of this century-old winery's desire to faithfully express the truly unique characteristics of specific terroirs from across a designation of origin as vast and diverse as Rioja, in a new phase of the house under the leadership of the duo David González and Juan Antonio Leza.

CERRO LAS CUEVAS, with the 2013 vintage finally being released on the market, is 95% Tempranillo with a touch of Graciano (5%) from bush-trained vines that have been growing for some 80 years on small plots around the village of Leza in Rioja Alavesa, at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria. This village has the highest annual precipitation in the area, with significant fog in autumn and spring. The landscape consists of South-facing slopes and gentle plateaus; the vineyard intermingles with oak trees, arbutus, kermes oak and thyme. “This spontaneous vegetation is indicative of the area’s marked Atlantic influence, which clearly contributes to this wine’s freshness and balance. Poor soil with a high limestone content helps create structured wines with an exceptional tannin concentration”, says the grape grower Juan Antonio Leza.

The 2013 vintage was notably cold and late: a cool and rainy summer definitively marked the freshness of that year’s wines. GÓMEZ CRUZADO's winemaker David González explains, “we had to cut back the vine's yield significantly in order to complete the ripening process”. This resulted in a small vintage: in this case, production of CERRO LAS CUEVAS 2013 reached just 2,305 bottles."

CERRO LAS CUEVAS is the result of a traditional elaboration, with fermentation in an open stainless steel vat, the use of autochthonous yeast and gentle plunging the cap to carefully extract noble tannins from the skin. Malolactic fermentation is done in French oak barrels, with a specially selected toast so as not to interfere with the pure original expression of the fruit. It is aged for 18 months in a new French oak barrel, with an additional year in bottle before being released.

To define this wine, David González explains: “We have chosen to work in the village of Leza with the hope of reaching the Tempranillo’s complete phenolic maturation without destabilizing the grapes’ alcohol content. Thanks to the climatic conditions and the Atlantic influence, we can maintain the fruit’s natural freshness”.

In addition to CERRO LAS CUEVAS, the Terroir Selection also includes PANCRUDO from Badarán, a village in the Upper Najerilla Valley in Rioja Alta, and MONTES OBARENES: a white from Haro that pays tribute to Rioja’s great historic whites. This wine is the result of meticulous work in the winery: a long ageing process and the utmost respect for the fruit’s character, to produce a wine that stands the test of time. With its SELECCIÓN TERROIR of village wines, GÓMEZ CRUZADO aims to create wines that are deeply tied to the land and rooted in the landscape and local know-how of Rioja’s most privileged areas. 

New times at a century-old winery

GÓMEZ CRUZADO is the smallest winery in the privileged and historic location of the BARRIO DE LA ESTACIÓN in Haro. In their recently renovated facilities, science and technical knowledge work with precision to create well-defined wines suitable for contemporary times without renouncing the traditional Rioja style. Today, GÓMEZ CRUZADO is run by the duo of David González and Juan Antonio Leza: two young Riojan oenologists and viticulture technicians with over a decade of experience as consultants for major projects in various wine-making regions. David and Juan Antonio began to work on this project in 2008 as consultants, and today it is their foremost passion.


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