I was at Dime restaurant in Barcelona, the last 20th february, where the Regalía de Ollauri – Marqués de Terán winery introduced their products to the press. It is a young winery created by two well known producers in the area, i.e. Hermanos Azpiliculeta and Eduardo Paternina.
I thought it was worthwhile to write an article as I got convinced by their explanation and coherence with the final product (this point seems a common practice, but it is not at all).
Sited near the Ollauri village, this modern winery is equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, starting from its architecture. The architect J. Erizcuren managed to integrate the technical requirements of any winery with a stylish racionalist line that evoques to the Mies van der Rohe’s style. Moreover, this winery fulfils some new needs, as the geotermical energy use or to move the grapes by gravity inside the building.
The manager Mr. Manuel García guided us through the making process, from the vineyard to the bottled wine. I will just point out some features that I considered emblematic. Firstly, the use of geotermical energy to fulfil the energetical winery requirements (2008). Secondly, they minimize the use of energy to move the grapes as they have a gravity-based system designed for that. Thirdly, the use -from 2005- of a maceration system -at low temperature- in stainless steel tanks equipped with pistons to recreate the pissage. Fourthly, they have the Bureau Veritas Carbon print seal. And Fifthly, the control they apply to secure the quality of the grapes. All together allows Mr. Agustín Marauri, the winemaker, to do his job impeccable.
The follow up starts from the vineyard. They control 80 hectares, despite only 5 of them are own by the winery. Every single grape is hand-picked and passes through a sorting table. The payment of the grape is done following quality standards and according six parameters (potassium, colour, vine age, botrytis, pH and alcohol content) measured by a Foss machine.
And now let’s talk about wine. We tasted six red wines made of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and/or Garnacha mixed in different ratio.
- Ollamendi 2008 (100% Tempranillo; 14 months in American oak and 6 months in bottle)
- Marqués de Terán 2009 crianza (95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo; 14 months in American and French oak barrel and 18 months in bottle)
- Marqués de Terán 2008 reserva (90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Garnacha; 15 months in American oak and 3 in French one)
- Marqués de Terán Selección especial 2011 (100% Tempranillo; 4 months in stainless steel tank and 6 months is French oak one year old)
- Versum 2010 (95% Tempranillo y 5% Mazuelo; 10 months in French oak one and two years old, and a minimum of 6 months in bottle)
- Marqués de Terán Reserva Edición Limitada 2007 (100% Tempranillo; 24 months in oak).
The six of them were good, but for my personal taste Ollamendi’08 and Marqués de Terán reserva 2008 were the very best, being Ollamendi’08 hard to beat with its amazing quality-price ratio. All of them, apart from Ollamendi’08, needed time to express themselves and they improve greatly once they have opened up more. I left them and came back to them several times for two hours and they were getting better, so I think that Guía Peñín evaluated them properly.
In short: it worths to follow this winery in the coming years, as it represents the «new style of Rioja wine» in which the fruity primary aromas and the tertiary ones coexist in harmony. I wish them the best.