At The Oxford Wine Company this February we celebrated Spanish wine, and what better way to start than with a double producer tasting!
We were fortunate enough to have two amazing producers from two different winemaking regions join us on Zoom to take us through some of their wines. Rodrigo Calvo from Bodegas Arrocal, and Laura Hoyos from Bodegas D.Mateos.
In 1999 Rosa Arroyo and Moisés Calvo took over their family vineyard based in Gumiel del Mercado in Ribera del Duero, and since then have made fantastic wines branded with the combination of their two surnames. They now have the help of their two sons, Rodrigo and Asier.
Rodrigo took us through the three wines of Arrocal:
Bodegas Arrocal Joven Roble, Ribera Del Duero, 2020:
Arrocal’s entry level wine, with Joven meaning ‘young’ in Spanish. This wine is 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), and spends 9 months in 3-year-old French and American oak.
Tasting note: Red cherry colour with blue hints, a clue of its youth. Fresh, vibrant and youthful with a long, fruit-driven finish
Bodegas Arrocal Selección Especial, Ribera Del Duero, 2019:
This wine is also 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), from 45-year-old vines this time. It has spent 18 months in new French oak barrels.
Tasting note: A range of ripe black fruits such as plums, blackberries and cherries. Touches of rosemary and thyme. Finally balsamic, soft vanilla, and black cocoa round of the nose.
Bodegas Arrocal Reserva De Familia, Ribera Del Duero, 2018:
This is Arrocal’s top wine, once again made from 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), however this time from 70-year-old vines. It has spent 24 months in American oak, and 12 months in bottle
Tasting note: The range of black, very ripe fruits such as plums, blackberry and cherries leap from the glass. Rosemary and thyme follow this, and balsamic and vanilla complete the bouquet. A lengthy finish and velvety tannins make this a wine to remember, and one that will get better with age!
Bodegas D. Mateos have been involved in winemaking since 1886. They combine this history, which spans seven generations where they have been dedicated to the land, with a modern approach, led by Mateo Ruiz who has been in charge since the winery was constructed in 2000.
The Bodega prefers French oak to American; the split being around 85% to 15%. The French oak has a tighter grain in the wood, and this means its influence on the wine is more subtle. American oak is known for imparting more overt vanilla notes, which could overshadow the quality of fruit found in Bodegas Mateos’ various collections, which run from well-balanced but approachable to complex and elegant.
Laura Hoyos took us through three of Mateos’ wines:
Letargo Rioja Crianza, Bodegas Mateos, 2018:
A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano. Concentrated plum and cherry on the nose, with liquorice, vanllia spice and cedar notes from the mixture of French and American oak, a wine made for lighter lamb based dishes
Tio Martin Crianza Rioja, Bodegas Mateos, 2019:
70% Tempranillo, 22% Garnacha and 3% Graciano. Aromas of black fruits that evolve to sweet spices (vanilla, coconut and clove) and dark chocolate. It’s a wine with a great personality and character. Long finish with subtle bitter notes (cocoa and coffee) of ageing.
La Mateo Coleccion de Familia Vendimia, Bodegas Mateos, Rioja 2017:
70%Tempranillo, 3% Graciano, 27% Garnacha. The Coleccion de Familia is Bodegas Mateos most personal series of wines. They are the result of the work of previous generations of the family in tending quality vines, which now give stunning fruit. They express sense of place and elegance. Fruit is sourced from selected plots in the best vineyards; the wine is aged in the best barrels of the most select French cooperages. Bodegas Mateos produce limited quantities of these wines, scrutinising each plot and each parcel of fruit for quality, so the wines might not be produced every year. Cassis and ripe red fruit notes are complemented by sweet spice and balsamic complexity. A truly outstanding wine!
It may have been a cold February, but wines from Sunny Spain will always bring some warmth with them!