Bodega Roda Reserve 2007, Rioja, Spain
The 2007 Roda Reserva is a blend of 89% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha and 3% Graciano with half the crop aged in new oak for 16 months. It has a ripe, dark berry, espresso and cassis bouquet that unfolds nicely in the glass and demonstrates complexity and harmony. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins. It displays fine acidity with clean fruit flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry, tart red cherries and a touch of citrus peel.
Rioja – the home of the berry loaded, barrel-aged red wine made from Tempranillo and Garnacha – is one of Spain’s most important wine regions. Rioja was the very first Spanish region to be awarded DO status, back in 1933, and in 1991 became the first to be upgraded to the top-level DOCa. All top-end red Rioja is matured in new oak barrels; American oak is the preference, but many wineries use a mix of American and French oak. This contact with virgin oak is what gives Rioja wines their distinctive notes of coconut, vanilla and sweet spices. The amount of time that a Rioja wine spends in barrel shows whether it is categorized as Joven, Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva. Rioja Joven wines, which are intended for consumption within two years of vintage, spend little or no time in oak (jóven is Spanish for “young’). Rioja Crianza wines are aged for one year in barrel, and one year in bottle. Rioja Reserva wines spend a minimum of one year in oak, and cannot be sent to market until a full three years after vintage. Rioja Gran Reserva wines are the region’s very finest and most expensive wines. These undergo a total of five years’ aging, of which at least two years is spend in oak.
In Spain, wineries are commonly referred to as ‘bodegas’ though this term may also refer to a wine cellar or warehouse. For quite some time, the Rioja wine industry has been dominated by local family vineyards and co-operatives that have bought the grapes and make the wine. Some bodegas would buy fermented wine from the co-ops and age the wine to sell under their own label. In recent times there has been more emphasis on securing vineyard land and making estate bottled wines from the bodegas.