2011 Condado de Haza – Tempranillo – Ribera de Duero – Spain
Alejandro Fernádez is the poster child for the rise and rise of the ‘New Spain’. He is one of the greats of modern Spanish viticulture and a pioneer of Ribera del Duero and the Tempranillo grape. Pesquera was the first estate he established and the one that launched his fame. The critical acclaim was instrumental in the Ribera de Duero receiving official D.O. status in 1982. In 2008, the region joined the esteemed ranks of Rioja and Priorat as one of only three regions with the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) classification. He now owns 4 wineries in Spain, yet it is the estates of Pesquera and Condado de Haza that are the leading lights in his portfolio.
In the mid-1980s as Tinto Pesquera was assuming its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which he felt held real potential. After lengthy and complicated negotiations with the many owners, he planted the first 50 hectares in 1989 and today the contiguous estate includes over 250 hectares of prime Tempranillo vines. Located within the historic county of the hilltop village Haza, the estate was christened Condado de Haza. Condado de Haza reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández. Bottled after malolactic fermentation and 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera, it can be enjoyed early yet will reward patient cellaring.
I loved this wine when I first tasted it, and it represents incredible value considering the winemaking talent and vineyard resources behind the wine. It is very dark in colour with lots of intriguing dark fruits and black cherries on the nose. A serious wine with a serious finish. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins over-layering a sweet core of red fruits, spice, espresso and vanilla