Bodegas Fuenmayor was an initiative implemented by a group of entrepreneurs from La Rioja linked to the wine-producing sector. Kind of like a dream team, with a focus on a single wine. They only produce wines from Tempranillo and sell under the Nocedal brand name. A state of the art winery finishes the equation, where no expense has been spared. It is no coincidence that they are situated in the viticultural heart of Rioja, the Rioja Alta. This wine was a real find and at 12 years of age is drinking at it’s peak right now.
Riojan producers segment their oak-aged red wines into three classes. The simplest class is called Crianza, which is aged in oak barrels one year before release. Crianza is soft and spicy with juicy red fruit flavors. Rioja Reserva is a slightly richer and fuller wine that is aged three years before release and the Gran Reserva is aged a whopping five years before it hits the retail shelves—a winery’s cash flow nightmare. Only made in the best vintages where the fruit quality is rich enough to support two years in barrel and three in bottle.
The Nocedal Gran Reserva 2001 is a seductive and complex blend of subtle spice and soft fruit: blackberries, dried cherries overlain with developed secondary characters that are the hallmark of aged Rioja. This is not a massive wine, but it is all about elegance and class with the primary fruit characters being replaced and enhanced by cigar box, mushroom and truffle characters. However it does not taste 12 years old and has plenty of life left in the tank