90 points, Reviewed by Michael Rockich, AppellationsTen
I have previously reviewed Miguel Angel Gregorio’s 2017 Viura from Finca Nueva, his “fun wine” establishment. Here, we are reviewing the Viura from another of his wineries, Finca Allende. It is essentially a blend containing five percent Malvasia Fina for additional complexity, and is one of several grapes used in the production of Madeira.
In Spanish Allende means “beyond”, so it follows that Allende is where Miguel is taking his next steps. As he said, “A winery is not a building, it is a philosophy, a place where we strive to go further.” Finca Allende is located in the hillside town of Briones in Rioja Alta, northern Spain. The winery is found in the medieval village square on a high knoll top.
Allende holds to the principal that wine is made in the vineyard. Mr. Gregorio is known for his adherence to site preservation and natural farming practices. His accomplishments have garnered him worldwide acknowledgement.
Allende’s estate vineyard is 52 hectares of bush-trained vines first planted over 75 years ago on rolling hills of clay based soils over gravel in the ideal north, northeast and northwest directions which yield superior grapes. Varietals consist of Viura, Malvasia, spots of Graciano and Garnacha, with 40.5 ha in Tempranillo.
To arrive at the finished product, Allende first moderately presses whole bunches in a basket press letting static free run ensue for 48 hours. Fermentation follows in new French oak barrels for 28 days at 20 ºC. The élevage program is 14 months in Bordelaise oak, the first seven months stirring the lees twice weekly, then seven months without. Very moderate filtration without clarification precedes bottling .
The winter of vintage 2015 was moderate but rainy. With a bit of rain in April and May, flowering began the second week of June followed by warm, dry weather. July provided more dry warmth, but fortuitously the vines had abundant water reserves from winter. Veraison took place the first week of August which continued with warm, dry weather. September saw rain but north winds avoided Botrytis. October was warm and sunny. After a long vegetative cycle, harvest started on October 10 with sunny weather.
This medium-plus weight Viura appears radiant light gold in color showing elevated acidity, good primary balance biased toward fruit and acidity, also showing fine secondary balance of taste. The nose delivers white peaches, citrus, and quince, while the palate brings creamy lush fruity flavors of white raisin and quince, reminding of fruit liqueur. Long and intense possessing weight, impact, and a quite round quality. This white wine has five years of age and yields the impression of solidity and structure with viscosity to generate many legs descending the glass. A really welcome attribute is that the wine is unchanged several days beyond opening – no oxidation! Every wine from Miguel Angle Gregorio that I have tasted has exhibited quality, solidity, and no oxidation. I don’t doubt any of the accolades describing Miguel’s achievements!
Imported by Trinchero Family Estates
A sample for review.
Photos, credit Finca Allende.