Deep ruby red with a tawny rim. An intense nose of balsamic wood and musk against a background of red berries and earthiness. In the mouth it is big, soft and easy to drink but at the same time increasingly tasty and full as the wine opens up. Later, notes of liquorice, spices and red fruit emerge. At the back of the mouth its finish is long and persistent.
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Wine maker notes
At least 30 years old. Located in Abalos and San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Rioja Alta. Clay and Limestone soil.
Grapes are carefully sorted on the selection table, and then whole grapes are destemmed and transferred to a tank for skin-contact maceration. After several days, tumultuous fermentation starts in the liquid found underneath the cap of skins floating on the surface. Automatic pumping-over and punching-down allow the tannins and colour to be extracted from the grape skins. The entire fermentation is temperature-controlled in order to favour the survival of the yeasts until the end of the process. When fermentation finishes, the wine is run off by gravity.
This method of destemming ensures a greater concentration of polyphenols and colour, which will be absolutely vital for the wine’s ageing in barrel.
After alcoholic and malolactic fermentation the wine is racked into 225 litre American and French oak barrels where it spends 18 months ageing in our bodega’s underground cellars.
Thereafter the wine is transferred back to the tanks for 5 months of natural fining and settling before filtering and bottling.
Ageing is completed in the bottle. The bottles are stored horizontally in our underground bottle-cellars for at least 24 months before their labelling and release for sale.
Should be drunk at a temperature of 18ºC.
Drink with red and white meat, roast lamb, pork, beef, game, poultry, stews, rice dishes, pulses, mushrooms and mature or blue cheese.
Ramirez de la Piscina is an old aristocratic name originating in the Middle Ages (11th-12th centuries). The surname has been associated with the famous knight El Cid, the Navarran crown and the First Crusade.
The Navarran Prince Don Ramiro Sanchez, married to the daughter of the famous El Cid, was in charge of a group of Navarran soldiers who, together with Godfrey of Bouillon, participated in the First Crusade.
The Pool of Bethesda
In July 1099, Prince Don Ramiro and his troops successfully stormed the wall adjoining the Pool of Bethesda, and entered Jerusalem.
On his return to Navarra, he learned that his father and brother had died under suspicious circumstances. It appears that they had been murdered in Penalen, and as a result, Navarra was ruled by the King of Aragon.
Don Ramiro refused to renounce his claim to the throne of Navarra, and in his will (Saint Peter of Cardena – 13/11/1110), he granted the rule of the Kingdom of Navarra to his oldest son, who was posthumously crowned under the name Garcia Ramirez ”The Restorer”.
Santa Mª de la Piscina
Don Ramiro ceded the territories of the Navarran Sonsierra (today in Rioja Alavesa – including Abalos, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and Brinas) and Penacerrada, to his youngest son, charging him to build a church in gratitude for his safe return from the Crusade.
Don Ramiro specified in his will that the church should be placed under the protection of the Virgin, and be called Santa Maria de la Piscina Probatica de Jerusalen (Saint Mary of the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem).
This Navarran-Riojan Romanesque jewel has since then been passed on pro indivisa to his descendants. Many of the clauses in the will were fulfilled, such as the Royal Decree of Santa Maria de la Piscina, which stated that the church should remain in the family forever.
Ramirez de la Piscina
From that date onwards, Don Sancho Ramirez added ”de la Piscina” to his name. The church is situated in the hamlet of Pecina, which falls within the San Vicente de la Sonsierra municipality.
Don Ramiro Sanchez is buried next to his wife, Dona Elvira Diaz de Vivar, in the main hall of the San Pedro de Cardena church in Burgos, together with the original sepulchre where the remains of El Cid were initially buried.
Both have the title of King and Queen of Navarra. Although they never actually reigned, they also never renounced their legitimate rights, which were later transferred to their son Garcia Ramirez ”The Restorer”.
Don Sancho Ramirez de la Piscina is buried in the parish of Penacerrada (Alava).