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Bodegas Valdelana - Finca Senda de las Damas - Viñedo Singular 2020

Price: $140.00

Producer Bodegas Valdelana
Country Spain
Region Rioja
Varietal Tempranillo Viura
Vintage 2020
Sku 019577
ABV 14.50%

Bodegas Valdelana is located in Elciego, known as the noble birthplace of Rioja Álavesa wines. The 150-hectare estate sits between the Ebro River and the Sierra de Cantabria mountains. This location lends itself to such delicious fruit because their chalk and clay-laden vineyards face southeast, toward the cooling Ebro, allowing for optimum sun exposure and ensures perfect ripening of the grapes, while the mountains offer protection from the gusting northerly winds. The Valdelana family has been tending these vines since the 16th century, with the current estate being founded in the late 19th century. Juan Jesús, fifteenth-generation owner and current winemaker, is one of the most innovative vignerons in all of Spain. He has worked tirelessly to transform the property, not only into a first-class Rioja estate, but also a center of learning. Juan Jesús established a museum showcasing the history of winemaking, which includes a journey through all the senses involved in wine tasting. His next project entails offering grape tastings on most international and domestic varietals. Juan's plan is to explain the characteristics of each grape and how they will translate into wine. Today, Juan Jesús' son, Juan Valdelana — the 16th generation of his esteemed winemaking family — has almost completely taken over the winemaking at Bodegas Valdelana from his father, Juan Jesús. At only 30, Juan has been hailed as one of the most promising new winemakers in all of Rioja. Remarkably, Juan began collecting uniquely special vineyard when he was just 18 years old and currently, Bodegas Valdelana boasts the most extensive Viñedos Singulares program in all of Rioja!

In the summer of 2019, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture recognized, for the first time, the status of “singular” for 84 superb DO Rioja vineyard sites to be now classified as Viñedos Singulares. These are ancient vineyards, farmed manually and continuously by the same family for at least ten years, adhering to strict yield limits and most importantly, the resultant wines must pass — not one, but two — evaluations by the Rioja board with a quality score of excellent, after fermentation and before their release to the market. Rioja wines with this designation represent the pinnacle of grape-to-glass winemaking, not only in Spain, but throughout the world of wine. Comparatively, a Viñedo Singular is the equivalent of a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy and eleven of these vineyards belong to Bodegas Valdelana. Juan's first releases — from the 2020 vintage — come from seven of his vineyards... the level of expertise, craftsmanship and quality of their wines never ceases to amaze.

The Finca Senda de las Damas was planted in 1930 in the village of Elciego on rocky soils with low permeability and porosity. The resultant wine, predominantly Tempranillo with a touch of Viura, was spontaneously fermented whole-cluster in open-top barrels with carbonic maceration, then barrel-aged for one year. In the glass, this wine pours a gorgeous dark cherry red with violet reflections. The nose offers intense aromas of dark red and black berry fruits mixed with hints of garrigue, spice and incense. The full-bodied palate rewards you with a wash of blackberry, cherry and plum flavors, incorporated with notes of baking spice and salted almonds. This is a robust and abundant wine — decanting will be beneficial — supported by generous, fine-grained tannins and powerful concentration of fruit that envelops the palate and leads to divine, minutes-long finish. Braised veal shanks accompanied with roasted baby beets and velvety, whipped potates is a delightful match, though this wine will shine with most meat dishes. Only 935 bottles produced...

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