Seleccion Especial Monica Tinto is made with native Spanish grapes, wild yeasts, and with little to no sulfur added. It's a modern spin on a traditional Rioja. Fresh and fun but with plenty of depth, great acidity for ageing. Save this one for a special day!
Cherry-violet in colour. On the nose it is fresh and sweet in equal parts…. Hints of orange peel, subtle undertones of laurel and dill, red fruit (strawberries, redcurrants), blue flowers (lilac, violets), faintly lactic, reminiscent of blackcurrant yoghurt…. Lots of fun. In the mouth, it's fleshy, with silky polished tannins, a feeling of sweetness at the beginning, notes of pastries and spices, very long and both fresh and floral, with a seductive aftertaste.
Annual Production: 4,000 (The club has access to 250 bottles annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Long and tasty
Grape Variety: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano & Garnacha (all native grapes)
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable farming
Ageing: 13 months in 400, 500 and 600-litre used French oak barrels + 5 years 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, good rainfall
Elevation: 700 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 40 years old - “La Dehesilla” parcel north-facing
Soil: Iron-rich red clay, glacial deposits, & fine clay over slab stone (Cárdenas)
- Drink now or keep for up to 6 years
- If possible, decant before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Serve between 17-19º 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 in small 15kg cases; de-stalking is followed by pre-fermentation cold maceration for one week at 8°c in stainless steel vats and fermentation with wild yeast at a maximum of 16°c; the malolactic fermentation takes place on the skins (time in tank 75 days) without sulphur; after pressing the wine is aged on its lees in used French-oak barrels for 11 months. After this time it is racked, lightly fined and bottled.
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 & Reviews
93 points - Robert Parker
94 points - Tim Atkin
Tasting Notes from Tim Atkin:
The best of the current red releases at Gregorio Martínez, this is a cuvée of Tempranillo with 20% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano and Garnacha, aged in French oak. It’s spicy, focused and very elegant, with some of the green pepper notes and acidity of a good Mencía from Bierzo. Long, complex and very mineral. 2018-25