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Ontanon Ecologico Rioja 2018 £9.34
ONTANON ECOLOGICO RIOJA
Bodegas Ontañón is a 5th generation family-owned and run winery in Rioja Baja (now Rioja 'Oriental'). Here Raquel, Rubén and Maria Pérez Cuevas continue their father Gabriel's work to develop Bodegas Ontañón into one of the most highly-regarded wineries in Rioja. Ontañon have vast swathes of vineyard in this part of Rioja. Whilst wine production in the region is typically very dependent on contracts with grape growers, the Pérez Cuevas family have seen fit to invest heavily in the purchase of their own land and vines. Their 250ha is a testament to the importance they place on controlling grape quality. Their vineyards sit high in the Sierra Yerga mountains in the prestigious region surrounding Quel - and defy misconceptions that Rioja Baja is one of the lesser sub-regions within Rioja. Much of their vineyards are actually planted at altitudes on a par with, or above, those in Rioja Alta and Alavesa; (La Pasada is their highest vineyard at 800m above sea level – planted in 1979 it is used for Reserva and Gran Reserva wines). The hot and dry Mediterranean climate allows for consistent ripening of the grapes with little disease – this has enabled them to pursue organic production across 57 hectares.
The Tempranillo grapes are sourced from certified organic vineyards at altitudes of around 500m. There is a long maceration of the grapes (over 20 days) - fermentation at controlled temperatures. Ecológico spends five months in American and French oak barrels (new and 1-2 year old barrels).
Bright cherry and raspberry aromas balanced by sweet spice. The palate is structured with complex, ripe red fruit, clove and black pepper characters. Poised and well-balanced with fresh acidity and a touch of mocha on the long finish. Perfect with roast chicken and pork, or grilled salmon
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