On Wednesday 19 February, Familia Fernandez Rivera, owners of Pesquera in Ribera del Duero and Dehesa La Granja, launched a new wine, Condado de Haza, a pure ecological Tempranillo from IGP Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Léon.
The press were invited to Sucede Restaurante, in Valencia for the presentation, one of several including Barcelona and Seville.
A premium wine, it originates from vineyards bordering the River Duero. From top quality vines it is aimed a particular niche in an adapting market. Lucia Fernandéz, Director General described it as a new offering, distinct from other wines within the group, a wine to differentiate it from the rest of their wines and aimed at the younger market.
Whilst we all assembled we tried another wine from within the group El Vinculo, an oak aged Airen (Spains most widely planted variety,) called Alejairén, a 2017 with 18 months in American oak. Clean and bright, yellow straw and very fresh on the nose, with lots of coco and pineapple. In the mouth fresh with good acidity, pineapple and a good length, a white with personality and elegance to accompany food. We tasted it with a good sheeps cheese from Granja la Dehesa which matched very well.
Starting the presentation we watched some corporate videos putting the bodega in its historical and geographical context. It owes its name to the Condado de Haza which dates from 912. A basic fort which controlled the River Duero and was heavily involved in the battles around the expulsion of the Moors and by 1011 was the centre of Community of Villa and the Tierra de Haza with 20 hamlets of great importance, not just to their inhabitants but also for the fertile land which supported them.
The wine comes from the vineyards of Roa and La Horra at 800m above sea-level of 164 hectares and with an average 30-years of age. From sandy soils, the wine is from the 2018 vintage, characterised by good early growth and soil humidity the berries grew quickly and larger than normal although maturity was delayed. A very large harvest at the end of October coupled with dry weather guaranteed a healthy crop.
The wine spends time in a mixture of 225, 400 and 500 litre barrels.
Black cherry colour, violet edge, long slow glyceric legs and full bodied. On the nose black mature fruit, blackberry with creamy notes, licorice, cherry with sweet spices, vanilla, and oaky notes predominate.
In the mouth powerful with a meaty entry, it is full in the mouth, with round tannins, immensely fruity with coffee sweets, toffee and more licorice and smoky notes . A very long finish is deep and coupled with the wines solid structure is very satisfying.
We tasted the wine over lunch with starters of Hibiscus flowers, little beef empanadas and eggs cooked at low temperature with cuttlefish in its own juice.
A carpaccio of Dublin Bay Prawn, foie and a spume of lupin seeds came next followed by fillet of hake with sugar-snap peas and finally a lamb shank with truffle pearls.
Dessert was Pears cooked in wine with cream.
Our thanks go to Rios y Toth for the invitation to the presentation of this new wine, a worthy addition to the groups production.