Classic wines from Rioja – the train station district

In the introduction to the blog on classic vs modern wines we talked about the different profiles that a wine can acquire depending on the way it’s made. Among these two major classifications we can refer to a wine’s profile as being either classic or modern, and one of the wine regions where you can differentiate these profiles is Rioja. Here the arrival of the railway marked an important milestone in the development of the region.

Before the beginning of the D.O. the important area where quality wine was produced was in the Haro train station district. This happened due to the arrival of the train in this town and the consequent ease of reaching this area, whose characteristics are similar to those of Bordeaux. In 1859 after the powdery mildew devastated the harvest, and later the phylloxera, the French wineries began to buy wine in the area and later to produce it. In 1877 Mr. Rafael López de Heredia built his own winery, located a few meters from the station. Subsequently in 1879 CVNE, in 1890 Gomez Cruzado and La Rioja Alta and in 1901 Bodegas Bilbainas also established their wineries near the station. After the arrival of phylloxera in the Rioja region, Muga was created in 1932 and lastly, in modern wine-making times, Roda was created in 1987.

In this way they came to form a compendium of wineries that are distinguished by the most classic methods of preparation learned by the French winemakers, with long periods of aging in barrels where the wine is stabilized naturally with the passage of time, giving the wine subtle brick-red colors, tertiary and slightly spicy aromas and an elegant and complex palate. Great fine wines with the Rioja name.

Here are some typical classic wines:

Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva: a wine that is causing quite a stir today, despite being misunderstood for many years. Nowadays it has become a cult wine. Produced mainly with the Viura variety and aged for 6 years in old 225 barrels, its main characteristics are the complexity that the slow oxidation gives it and the great liveliness that it maintains over time.

Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva: This 904 is one of the standards of classic winemaking. It remains in barrels for 4 years with continuous racking to clean the wine. A fine wine, with a clear mastery of the tertiary aromas and with an enormous storage capacity.

Cune Imperial Gran Reserva: This wine represents the winery’s oldest style. Produced from vineyards from the different subzones that are perfectly combined in order to support 2 years in barrels and 4 years in the bottle before being put on the market. A wine with a somewhat fruitier character than its neighbors but which preserves that fineness that is typical of the fine wines of the area.

Muga Prado Enea: Muga arrived a little later than its neighbors, but adapted perfectly to the production methods adopted by nearby wineries. A great wine that gains in finesse year after year. A style that is classic and at the same time very Burgundian. Tertiary and slightly fruity aromas that give the wine an excellent complexity.

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