Cata de la estación de Haro Wine Experience 2016


On Friday 16th September, we went to the Haro Station district to the wine tasting organised by six wineries that form part of the district. It is one of the epicentres of Rioja wine and the Spanish wine-making scene, with more than 150 years of history since Haro railway station was built in 1859. The French arrived needing to buy wine due to plagues of mildew and phylloxera, and the train became the perfect link to transport it. The wineries were established in the following years:

– 1877: R López de Heredia
– 1886: Compañía Vinícola del Norte (CVNE)
– 1890: La Rioja Alta
– 1901: Bodegas Bilbaínas
– 1970: Muga
– 1987: RODA

The event was based on visiting the different wineries on foot, trying the new additions. We did the following tour:
CVNE: They had three different wineries and the represented brands that we would highlight are the Imperial range for its loyal representation of the Rioja reservas´ classic style; Viña Real Crianza 2012, which has a more Garnachero style and less woody presence, and Contino, with its Contino Reserva 2010 and single varieties of Garnacha and Graciano.
Muga: We were able to try their wines in the Torre Muga barrel room where the new addition, Prado Enea 2009, is in line with the great classics of the area.
Gómez Cruzado: We liked that this winery has changed its direction towards wine divided into plots and has a lower presence of new wood. In the range of blended wines, Vendimia Seleccionada 2015, with 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha and with five months ageing in new wood, has gained a fresh and fruity spirit. Pancrudo, from a Garnacha plot located in a cold area in La Sierra de la Demanda, is made in barrels and concrete eggs and in our opinion, it is the best wine of the house.
Rioja Alta: Along with Tondonia, this is one of the wineries that brings classicism to all its wines. The new additions across the range that we tried were all very good, particularly the Viña Alberdi 2010 and the 904 Gran Reserva 2007.
R. López de Heredia: The new additions continue the classic style of long periods of ageing in old barrels. Their Viña Bosconia 2005 stands out.
Roda: In the winery´s modern wine cellar, we were able to try the whole wine range. The Roda I Reserva 2009 stands out for us for its great balance, fruit complexity and age.
Bodegas Bilbaínas: The Vinos Singulares that they were making very much attracted our attention. The single varieties of Graciano and White Tempranillo foretell a bright future. As a single-estate wine, the Viña Pomal Alto de la Caseta 2010 stands out, it is a high-end Tempranillo. It should also be noted that this young team from Bodegas Bilbaínos are enthusiastic to produce different wines.

Finally, we attended the `masterclass´ organised by Pedro Ballesteros, in which we had the opportunity to carry out the coupages characteristic of the district. Each winery presented wines in different stages of ageing, showing how to produce a completed wine. It was a very practical exercise to understand the philosophy of wineries.

After having tried wines from the district´s wineries all day, we have arrived at the conclusion that something is shifting. The single Tempranillo varieties are no longer the panacea, with the help of the Garnacha, above all in the youngest wines, they are more refreshing and fruity. Likewise, the contribution of new wood is decreasing in this type of wine. Regarding the classics of the long ageing process, they are the coupages, the terciary aromas and the delicate colours contributing to the passing of time, the bastions of the Station District.


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