Rioja Alert

For a family tradition begun in 1889, Carlos and Ana Martínez Bujanda are the
current stewards of an impressive history at Bodegas Valdemar – now rooted
in the pursuit of wine-making innovation on their 1,000 acre estate. Beginning
about 25 miles south of the French border and in the shadow of the Cantabrian
Mountains, the 3 famed sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa are
clustered around the Ebro River and its tributary Rio Oja. Long considered the
premier source of Spanish wine, local vintners have been practicing and refining
their agricultural art here for well over 2,500 years and counting.

This modern Rioja blend built on an elegant backbone of 80% Tempranillo with
its fruity mouthfeel, will become even more velvety as it ages. Making up fully ¾
of all root-stock planted in this storied region’s vineyards, its name is derived
from the Spanish ‘temprano’ meaning ‘early’ and it does in fact, reliably ripen
quite early. Adding some additional complexity are 10% each of Graciano and
Maturana Tinta. Almost lost as a result of difficult cultivation liabilities including
susceptibility to molds such as Botrytis, these indigenous varieties are seeing
a resurgence of popularity due to the strong aromatic character that Graciano
imparts and the intensity of colour that Maturana provides. As well, both have
a high polyphenol content that promotes better balanced barrel-ageing, which
in the case of this wine’s Crianza designation – means a minimum of 10 months
spent in mainly French and some American (20%) oak.

Ranked #34 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013, it’s decidedly a
remarkable showing for an offering under $20 a bottle. This has sufficient body
to hold up well for another 3-4 years – so buy lots and don’t rush to drink it!


VINTAGES – LCBO Product #166512 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.00
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Rioja, Spain
By: Bodegas Valdemar
Release Date: May 10, 2014

Tasting Note
This is a medium-bodied red with lively acidity, integrated tannins and hints of
both balsamic and spice. Far more polished than one would expect from its
price-point, try serving with braised or charcoal grilled meats and sausages.
Also satisfying as an apéritif with ripe cheeses, spicy tapas and charcuterie.