Wed 25 Mar 2015

The Society’s Rioja: New Blend, New Vintage

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By far my most important buying job of the year is putting together the blend of The Society’s Rioja (important because around 11,000 members every year buy it).

In the blending room - The mathematics behind The Society's Rioja

In the blending room – The mathematics behind The Society’s Rioja

Last November at Bodegas Palacio in Laguardia, winemaker Roberto Rodriguez and I spent most of a day mixing, tweaking and tasting various components. Quality this year is excellent, thanks to the concentration of the vintage (2011) and the fact that Roberto gave me access to some of his finest barrels of tempranillo normally destined for reserva-level wines.

Looking closer at the components, it’s clear to see why. Firstly, 2011 saw some of the Bodega’s healthiest tempranillo grapes which meant the wines were able to support extensive ageing. This year we selected from barrels where the wines have aged for a staggering 22 months (that’s 7 months more than the previous vintage).

Incidentally that means the wine does legally qualify to be labelled as a reserva. The barrels chosen were 90% American oak, a significant feature in good traditional-style Rioja, and 10% French oak: this combination endows the wine with a round, smooth texture and a hint of vanilla spice.

Our shipment of the new blend has arrived from Rioja and is available now for £7.50 per bottle. I hope you like it.

Pierre Mansour
Society Buyer

Comments

  1. Peter Mannering says:

    I shall be staying in Laguardia in June. Is it possible to purchase Society Rioja direct from the bodega?

  2. David Jones-Percival says:

    Loved the 2010 vintage especially now I have had it for nearly a year – ageing really well. 2011 sounds a step up which means it will be a real bargain, must buy a shed load.

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