Tradition Meets Opulence

More than a half century ago, when the Riojans decided to classify their wines from crianza to gran reserva, the idea was to make it easy on the consumer. But how do those simple words capture the essence of wines that rise above their category?

Pedro Peciña was faced with that dilemma after the 2006 harvest. He had made a wine, drawn largely from his best vineyard, that promised to transcend even his gran reservas in its richness.

He could have let the chips fall where they may and honor it with a gran reserva label. If any wine deserved it, this wine did. But even after three years in barrel, the fruit was still too opulent for Peciña’s classic gran reserva style. And so he sought another way to label the wine ... and found it in the rarely used vendimia seleccionada, which refers to a wine made from selected grapes.

After eleven years in Peciña’s cellar (three of that in barrel), 2006 Vendimia Seleccionada has evolved into one of the most stunning red Riojas we’ve tasted from the new millennium. 

Back Story

Founded only in 1992, Bodegas Hermanos Peciña is dedicated to reviving the traditional Rioja style created by Cune, López de Heredia and Marqués de Riscal in the late 19th century.

Unlike most other relatively young Rioja estates, it rejects high alcohol and extract. And all wines are patiently aged in the seasoned American oak that is the hallmark of Traditional Rioja. The result has been consistently rich, silky textured and hauntingly perfumed “throwback” Riojas.

Of course, it takes more than just perfectionist winemaking to make superb wines. It also takes great vineyards. Fortunately, Pedro Peciña previously spent 18 years as La Rioja Alta’s vineyard manager. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of the area’s terroirs, he acquired 20 hectares of the best vineyards in Rioja Alta to create his estate. They are exclusively on the left bank of the Ebro, with its high elevations and chalky soil. And the crown jewel is Finca Escorta, which is the backbone of the 2006 Vendimia Seleccionada.

In its concentration of fruit, 2006 Vendimia Seleccionada reminds us of the legendary Viña Reals, Bosconias and Monte Reals of the 1960s and early 1970s. It has all the sensuality of Traditional Rioja but with that much more richness. And you have the choice of either enjoying now or aging it for at least a decade or two more.

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