2014 Alejandro Fernández Condado de Haza Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain
Condado de Haza is a property that owner Alejandro Fernández considers as his Château.
This estate located in the famous Ribera del Duero region of Spain, is covered by a continuous expanse of around 200 hectares (500 acres) of Tempranillo vineyards.
Alejandro Fernández has grown vines here, on the banks of the Duero River among poplar and willow groves since 1987. But it was only in 1993 that the Condado de Haza estate become self-sufficient, and for the whole winemaking process, from the vine to the bottle, to be carried out entirely in the bodega.
The winery’s structure was designed by boring into a hillside so that the 3,000-barrel ageing room located in a 200-metre tunnel below the vineyards would naturally maintain a constant temperature and humidity level for maturing wine.
This Ribera del Duero wine comes in a pretty dark red color, not overly so, but still with quite an intense color, dark to the core, dark red with hints of orange hues to the rim.
The nose feels quite restrained and animal, smelling somewhat like a meat stock as the dominant note. It smells savory then, although there are plenty of warming dried fruits (date and prune) notes as well. Some cherry liqueur and black pepper. Even after a solid half-hour of decanting though, the wine still smelt a little reductive, held back.
The palate is fairly dense, with relatively smooth tannins, and a nice oily and coating texture, velvety tannins. Good acidity.
Flavors are powerful and quite explosive. Plenty of red berry liqueur flavors, mixed with a complex myriad of savory spices: the black pepper is there again, dark and slightly bitter clove, nutmeg, and cardamom.
It’s powerful and intense to taste, dry, yet filled with rich fruit flavors, cooked apple and red berry jam, with a present alcohol but discrete oak allowing the fruit and spicy characters to shine.
A wine that feels very Spanish in its approach, ripe and generous, generously oaky yet with fine and well-integrated oak flavors.
It is generous and rich, warm too, but more importantly feeling savory and hearty, meaty and juicy.
A wine built to be enjoyed with what the Spanish love, generous grilled meats with aromatic herbs, the inevitable jamón (Spanish cured ham) and tasty meaty stews.
My Spiegelau wine Glassware
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