01 Oct “Selección Privada 2016”, the maximum expression of the tempranillo grape from Rioja Alavesa
The Bodegas Dominio de Berzal family is launching a new vintage of one of its wines that best expresses the autochthonous characteristics of its land, Rioja Alavesa. Always seeking authenticity, its essence is palpable in each of its bottles. Selección Privada 2016 represents the maximum expression of the Rioja Alavesa Tempranillo grape, its personality and strength. It is a signature wine with modern nuances. A modern take on a classic, native variety, with a touch of the land.
It could perfectly well be classified as a Reserva by the DOCa Rioja. However, they have chosen to classify it as an author because it has a freshness, youth and modernity that sets it apart from other reservas. It is a wine that evolves with time and promises a very long life.
The grapes are selected in the vineyard itself. Only high quality grapes are used in this wine. All Tempranillo grapes come from two vineyards located at an altitude of 450 metres. The first is called “El Peregigo” and is flat. Its soil is totally clay-limestone with very little depth. The second is called “Peñascalera” and has a slope. It is also clayey-calcareous, but with more pebbles. Both are vase-formed and are around 70 years old.
The climate of these plots is dry and sunny, with rainfall of around 350l/m per year. These vineyards are thinned out during veraison to leave just the right amount of vines for the final ripening. Their characteristics and meticulous viticulture mean that their yields are less than 2,500 kg/ha.
To give more structure to the wine, they are made in tanks using a pisage system to extract more polyphenols and anthocyanins from the skins.
After several years of making Selección Privada, they have seen that its maximum potential is achieved by ageing the wine exclusively in French extra-fine grain barrels for 18 months, thus giving the wine very soft wood tannin nuances, giving it persistence and creaminess. As it is a very powerful wine, the balance that the wood gives to the fruit makes for an exceptional result.
The colour of Selección Privada 2016 is a very winey red with violet tones. On the nose, without swirling the glass, aromas of black fruits such as blackberry, olives and tar stand out. When swirled, salty and spicy (pepper, sandalwood, clove) and roasted tones emerge. The palate is very powerful, fruity and expressive. The palate is weighty, silky, but at the same time balanced with ripe and elegant tannins, complex fruits and fine roasted notes. The aftertaste is long, with salty nuances and good acidity.
For Bodegas Dominio de Berzal, the 2016 vintage was a good one. That year the summer was not very hot in the area, in September the weather was kind to the vines and it hardly rained, and the ripening cycles of the grapes were correct, thus achieving a complete ripening. Not every year they make their Selección Privada, only in vintages in which they consider that the quality of their grapes is optimal for it.