RED AUTOCHTHONOUS VARIETIES FROM LA RIOJA
This is our commitment to authenticity, to the traditional varieties that have been grown at La Rioja. Land of great wines. These are 5 varieties upon which we produce our red wines: Maturana tinta, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo.
Considered native to Rioja, it is the wine region’s most typical grape. It is the origin of the identity of its wines and one of the great grape varieties in the world. It occupies more than 75% of the region’s vineyards and it is very versatile from an oenological viewpoint. It is capable of producing wines that can withstand long ageing periods, with a good balance of alcoholic strength, colour and acidity, and an honest, smooth, fruity mouthfeel that turns velvety as it ages Tempranillo sets well but is quite sensitive to pests and disease and not very resistant to drought and high temperatures. The name comes from the Spanish temprano (early) because of its short ripening cycle.
Graciano is a native grape variety and its cultivation is very limited in other areas. Shown to be an excellent complement to Tempranillo in the ageing process, this grape has a promising future in Rioja, where its planted surface area has increased significantly in the last few years, although it has yet to reach pre-phylloxera figures. It requires clay-limestone soils and a cool climate. It is fairly resistant to downy mildew and powdery mildew, with low fertility rates and late maturing. It offers wines with a marked acidity and polyphenolic content, ideal for ageing, with a unique aroma that is much more intense than those of other varieties in Rioja.
This grape variety native to Spain is the most extensively grown variety in the world. In Rioja, it complements the Tempranillo with its aromas and freshness. With good extract and alcoholic strength, its wines vary depending on environmental conditions (temperature) and tending practices (production). In warm areas, it produces the kind of wine that has given it its reputation as a rugged grape but in cool areas it produces very interesting, well-balanced wines, particularly rosés. Prone to shatter, this is nonetheless a hardy plant, able to withstand periods of drought, and also fairly resistant to pests and major vine diseases such as grape rust mite and powdery mildew; hence its popularity among growers.
There is evidence that this grape variety has been grown in Rioja for several centuries, but today it barely covers 3% of the wine region’s vineyards. It is more productive than other red varieties, albeit particularly sensitive to powdery mildew and needs more heat summation to mature. Although short on flavours, it produces wines with abundant tannins, high acidity and stable colour, all of which makes it a good complement to Tempranillo for wines to be aged for long periods. In the rest of the world it is mainly known as Carignan Noir, given its French origin.
It has small compact clusters and small berries. It is very sensitive to grey rot, with late bud break but early ripening. As for the wine parameters, it has high colour intensity and anthocyanin content, high acidity and medium alcohol content. Sensorially, it stands out for its purple colour, typical varietal aromas of green peppers with balsamic and spicy notes, a well-structured mouth with notable acidity and tartness and medium persistence. It is not grown anywhere else in the world, making it a very interesting grape to support the uniqueness, differentiation and diversity of Rioja wines.