2019 Hacienda El Olmo Rioja Crianza
Hacienda El Olmo
Tempranillo, Graciano and Grenache
Olmo is a classier-than-classical and very elegant crianza style. Gently fermented, it spends three weeks of temperature-controlled maceration, before ageing 14 months in new and old oak, mainly French. It’s purity of expression as genuine Rioja (Tempranillo + Terroir) and lack of winery artefact ensures it stands out from the pack of industrial crianzas.
Some earth and leather wander through strawberry and cherry, tobacco, earth, brush and undergrowth. There’s a gorgeous sweet seeds/tannin character effortlessly expressing the wine’s perfect ripeness, with an open, freely flowing palate framed by gentle grip and terrific natural acid freshness. The depth is impressive, with no heaviness, it’s all savoury glide and maintains a charming openness. While tannin and oak have contributed no doubt to the deft mouthfeel, it’s almost invisibly structured, super-subtle and unaffected.
Hacienda el Olmo (‘estate of the elm tree’) is a project based in a little pueblo, Agoncillo, 15km south-east of Logroño. This is on the border of la Rioja and Navarra provinces, where Rioja Leza flows down out of Sierra de la Demanda to join the Ebro. The bodega in question, Bodegas la Eralta has its own vines here, in soils suited to Garnacha as much as Tempranillo. Hacienda el Olmo, is virtually a ‘picture of Riojan Tempranillo. It joins the fruit of the Ausejo subzone in the south with Tempranillo fruit grown in the high, cold marl soils of the north, in tiny parcels above Laguardia and Lantziego. These are shallow limestone soils on sandstone base, at up to 650 metres’ altitude.