2008 Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Reserva

Year: 2008
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 93+
Vinous Media: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"Nosing from one to the other, the 2008 Reserva has an almost identical bouquet to the 2007, with a coconut/vanilla tincture developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and, like the 2007, it handles the oak with style, thereby allowing the fruit to surface towards the finish with creme de cassis, dark cherries, soy and touch of orange blossom. This will be kept another three years in bottle, so it should turn out to be an excellent Reserva when ultimately released. Drink 2017-2028.

Fernando Remirez de Ganuza needs no introduction. In some ways, he reminds me of Gerard Perse of Chateau Pavie in terms of his determination, unwillingness to compromise and singular vision. Looks-wise, they could be brothers. Fernando has already won acclaim for his wines that are created in his state-of-the-art facility in the village of Samaniego. The picturesque medieval buildings that surround a small manicured garden and a natural spring belie a winery where no expense is spared. Fernando has an almost obsessive intolerance towards cleanliness and hygiene. All that was missing was a doormat to clean your shoes as you enter the vat-room. He famously uses just the “shoulder” part of grape bunches for his top wines, since he believes they have more intensity than the bottom. These wines are crafted in a modern fashion and you can taste the effort that has gone into them. Yet at the same time, there is part of me that would like Fernando to take risks and be wary of not over-analyzing the wines, which can detract from their personality and risk making them over-polished and generic. Perfectionism is an admirable virtue to aspire to, but imperfections can make something more interesting to experience. The Vina Coqueta comes from 41-year-old vines is 5.5-hectare namesake vineyard, a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano and 2% Garnacha that is blended with the skins of the white grapes, then raised for two years in barrel (90% French and 10% American). The Reserva is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 5% the skins of Viura and Malvasia that are added during fermentation and 10% of Graciano, no younger than 40-years in age. It is raised in 95% French and 5% American oak for approximately 25 months. The Trasnocho is made from the same fruit as the Reserva, but is pressed gently through a water-filled bag inserted into the vat and left to inflate overnight. It is then raised entirely in French new oak." (WA)

"Deep ruby. Expansive scents of cherry liqueur, cassis and vanillin oak also show very good definition, with hints of woodsmoke and cola adding interest. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy black and blue fruit flavors and a lively spine of acidity. Quite rich for the vintage, finishing with powerful thrust; smooth tannins come on late to add shape and structure." (VM)

"Ripe, concentrated aromas of plum and prune come with a horsey accent. This feels wide and a touch clumsy, but friendly. Mature, baked flavors of raspberry, blackberry, mocha and herbs finish long and solid, with a hint of tobacco." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Our Remírez de Ganuza reflects the essence of our wines. It is crafted using the shoulders of only the best bunches from vines which average sixty years old. Both the malolactic fermentation and its ageing are carried out in new oak barrels. Our aim is always to create a wine which is a faithful reflection of its vintage.