GM Finca Mazuelo - 2015
This natural Rioja is one of the few 100% Mazuelo wines produced in La Rioja.
Medium intense cherry hue with purple rim, dense and well-defined legs. The nose is initially fresh and floral (lilacs, violets, hydrangeas) giving way to more earthy notes with hints of blackberry.
With oxygenation the freshness becomes ever more obvious, with palma violets and hints of barrel ageing, all wrapped up in lactic and mineral overtones.
With further oxygenation the fresh fruit comes through with balsamic undertones.
In the mouth it is fresh and light, the silky tannins underpinning a good weight of fruit and balsamic flavours and hints of blackberries; it is very, very long thanks to its great acidity which gives it a very agreeable aftertaste.
GM Finca Mazuelo - as all other wines produced by this winery - is fermented using a patented method of production developed by the bodega's oenologist, Ricardo Cantera, which consists of extracting and re-circulating the carbonic gases naturally produced during fermentation into the bottom of the tank; this gently turns the wine over, which helps to eliminate unwanted bacteria while preserving good bacteria, making the wine more aromatic and alive with extremely low sulphites.
Annual Production: 4,500 (The club has access to 300 bottles annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very long and pleasant aftertaste
Grape Variety: 100% Mazuelo (indigenous Cariñena from La Rioja)
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable farming
Ageing: 8 months in 400-litre French oak barrels + 6 months in bottle
Winemakers: Gregorio & Monica Martinez, Ricardo Cantera, Elena Stoica
Bodega: Gregorio Martinez
Region: La Rioja Alta
Designation of Origin (DOP): Rioja
Micro-Climate: Atlantic & Continental - hot summers, cold winters, high rainfall
Elevation: 700 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 22 years old - “La Dehesilla” parcel, north-facing
Soil: Iron-rich clay and glacial deposits
- Drink now or keep for up to 5 years
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 15/20 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at 14/15 Celsius
Situated in an ideal location of La Rioja Alta on a plateau at 700m above sea level overlooking the Ebro and Iregua river valleys. The north-facing estate is sprinkled with centenary oaks, a testament to the magnificent microclimate of the area which is influenced by the Moncalvillo and Camero mountain ranges. The elevated plateau protected by the surrounding mountains creates conditions that are perfect for the grapes, combining Atlantic, Continental, and Mediterranean conditions with hot summers, cold winters and good rainfall.
The soils of the vineyard are heavily influenced by the last ice age and the former path of the Iregua river. The stones and glacial deposits left behind from the tertiary age give the wines a particular minerality. The soil is mostly iron-rich red clay, sedimentary sand, and glacial sediment which is also found in the nearby Moncalvillo mountain range. The soils coupled with the altitude and climate make for wines with fantastic ageing potential.
Hand-harvested into small trailers of 2,000 kgs; destemming is followed by pre-fermentation cold maceration at 8 degrees Celsius for one week in stainless steel vats without sulphur and with natural carbon dioxide. It is then fermented with wild yeast at a maximum of 16°c and a partial malolactic fermentation on its skins in stainless steel tank for about 75 days without sulphur.
The remaining fermentation and short ageing in used French oak barrels, where it stays for 8 months.
Founded in the 1970s by Don Gregorio Martinez, a well known Rioja entrepreneur, he began acquiring plots of land around Sorzano, his wife’s home town. Now the estate covers 150 hectares spanning the towns of Nalda, Sorzano, and Entrena, of which 32 hectares are planted vineyards.
Currently managed by his descendants, the project changed dramatically after the arrival of winemaker Ricardo Cantera in 2009. They used to sell grapes to other wineries and make a classic range of wines based on the Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva categories but now they have started making a new range of fresh reds and whites. Cantera has patented an energy-saving system that uses the carbon dioxide that is naturally generated during fermentation to break the cap from the inside of the vat through a mushroom-shaped device that spews the wine as if it were a volcano. Another advantage of this system is the ability to work with very low quantities of sulfites.
The grape varieties grown on the estate are Tempranillo, Mazuelo, and Viura, all of which are native to Spain.
Ratings & Reviews90 points - Robert Parker
It takes bravery to plant Mazuelo, a late-ripening variety, in one of the coolest spots in Rioja, but this is a success in the warmer conditions of the 2015 vintage. Aged in 400-litre wood to open up the wine, it’s elegant, flavoursome and spicy with plum and red cherry fruit and marked but fine-grained tannins. 2019-26