The Gómez Cruzado winery dates back to 1886 when Angel Gómez de Arteche started to produce and bottle his own wine in Haro, at the very heart of Rioja Alta. This was in the day when the wine trade between Rioja and France passed along the Tudela-Bilbao line, and the key Rioja wineries were located around the station of Haro. The winery sits just 100m from the station to this day. Subsequently bought by Angel and Jesus Gomez Cruzado in 1916, and more recently by the Baños family, David González (winemaker) and Juan Antonio Leza (viticulturalist) now head up the winemaking team. They have been working with Gomez Cruzado for over 10 years, crafting wines from vineyards of old bush vines in the most elevated areas of Rioja Alta and Alavesa. They source from almost a hundred different plots across 3 distinct regions: Alto Najerilla, Bajo Najerilla and Sierra Cantabria. Sierra Cantabria (Rioja Alta and Alavesa): Vines grow in poor, white, chalky-clay soils, on sunny slopes at the highest part of the sierra (up to 750m altitude) - where the Mediterranean and Atlantic climates meet. The area produces wines with freshness and elegance. Bajo Najerilla (Rioja Alta): in the triangle formed by the villages of Uruñuela, Cenicero and Torremontalbo, where the Najerilla river flows into the River Ebro. Tempranillo vines grown in alluvial soils at an average altitude of 500m – in a warmer, more temperate continental climate with a notable Mediterranean influence. Wines have high maturity and excellent ageing capacity. Alto Najerilla (Rioja Alta): Garnacha vines over 80 years old, planted in ferrous clay soil at around 750m altitude, on north-facing slopes near the Sierra de la Demanda. The continental climate confers strong fruitiness and marked acidity on the resulting wines.
Gomez Cruzado Honorable Rioja (wooden case) 2017
This ‘field blend’ is produced from the fruit of Gomez Cruzado’s oldest vineyards (over 50 year old vines) – south-east facing, in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria. The vines planted here are predominantly Tempranillo, but also Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuela and Viura. Soils are poor, chalky clay and white in colour, with slabs of calcareous rock beneath. The grapes are hand-picked into 15kg crates, and are sorted further by hand at the winery. The grapes undergo 4 days pre-fermentative maceration at low temperature, then temperature-controlled fermentation with daily remontage and delestage. Malolactic fermentation takes place in new oak barriques with weekly batonnage, followed by 18 months maturation in new French, thin-grained, oak barriques.
Wild bramble and spiced plum aromas then richly flavoured black cherry fruit and expressive well-integrated oak flavours. Ripe tannins are balanced by vibrant acidity and developed dried fruit, mocha and toasty spice characters
This characterful red will stand up to many richly-flavoured meat and vegetable dishes, including pan-fried venison in a redcurrant sauce