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  • Country ranking ?

    114
  • Producer ranking ?

    9
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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The Story

Reserva Real was created after his majesty King Don Juan Carlos visited our winery in 1995, and was treated to one of the most exclusive and limited production wines in Spain.

Appellation: DO Penedès

Grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc

Origin: It is created from the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes from our small vineyard Agulladolç, which is also home to a beautiful 11th century Romanesque hermitage. After 18 months in new French oak barrels, and thanks to the great quality of the tannins in this wine.

Producer's Tasting Notes: Fresh, intense, complex aroma with notes of jams (blackberry, cherry) and leather. Superb body on the palate, with silky tannins, exquisitely developing at length in the mouth.

Serving suggestions: Excellent with meat dishes such as roasts or the stews typical of Mediterranean cuisine, meat braised in tomato and pepper sauce or cooked with aromatic herbs and spices (thyme, oregano, rosemary, laurel and pepper).

Estate of origin: Les Arnes

Location: Mediona, Alt Penedès – Catalunya

Year vines planted: 1981

Surface area: 4 ha. (10 acres)

Elevation: 365 m

Slope: 5-10%

Orientation: East

Yield: 4000 Kg/ha.

Soil: Moderately deep silurian quartzite slate soils with a texture rich in sand and gravel, well drained, with moderate water holding capacity.

Rainfall: Annual average precipitation (historical): 539 mm

Temperature: Annual average temperature (historical): 15.1ºC

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Vintage 2017

SPAIN 2017 Vintage  /Extreme weather was seen across the wine world in 2017 and Spain was no exception. For most Spanish regions there were one or more climatic challenges to contend with including spring frost, drought, untypically high summer temperatures and occasional hail storms. Then, mercifully, the going got easier as more typical weather arrived for the August and September ripening period and generally very favourable harvest conditions. 

Frost hit areas where it rarely does in Spain – many areas of Galicia were affected with only Rías Baixas getting off lightly. Castilla y León, with its wide stretch of regions from Ribera del Duero to Bierzo, often sees some frost but this year it hit with a vengeance. Jerez was one of the few areas to escape and the central area of Castilla-La Mancha only suffered frost damage in isolated areas. 

The long drought and a very hot early summer period tested some varieties, especially non- indigenous ones. Older vines and bush vines with deep roots coped better with the extreme weather and soils with good water retention were a bonus. 

The harvest was generally low-yielding and early, having been brought forward by an early bud break. But the length of the harvest varied and thanks to fine weather growers could wait for the best time to pick waiting for each area to reach maturity. In some cases where there was a secondary growth on vines after the frost, the result was a later growing cycle and vines reaching maturity at more typical dates. 

Grape quality was often reported to be high with healthy bunches of smaller berries showing intense flavours and excellent ripeness. As always, those offering the best wines from this vintage are likely to have selected their grapes carefully. 

While yields are down in 2017, this harvest comes after more generous ones for many Spanish regions in recent years and this should safeguard against supply shortages. 

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Tasting note

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Written Notes

Intense garnet colour with almost black core. Opulent, yet slightly closed nose, opens up slowly, displaying an aroma reminiscent of ripe plums, ripe mulberries, elderberries and hints of blueberries, balmy spices, hints of dark chocolate and graphite. On the palate well structured with powerful yet fresh character, ripe tannins, juicy fruit, plums, black cherries and mulberries. Mild spices and fine toasting lingering in the aftertaste with excellent length. 

  • 97p

4-ha vineyard, Les Arnes, surrounded by forest, in the Costers de l’Anoia subzone of Penedès. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot. The vineyard is on a rare, unique soil in Penedès (which is usually calcium carbonate, gravels, clay and lime) – Silurian slate. Roots are very shallow, limited to 60 cm by solid shelves of slate. Top soil is sand, eroded from the slate. The dark colour increases heat absorption and ripening. Planted in 1997. 2017 was warm and very dry. There was a lot of hydric stress in this area (free-draining soils) so 2017 has big concentration. Hand-picked, each variety vinified separately with 15–20 days’ maceration and fermentation at 26 °C. 18 months in new 225-litre French oak barrels. pH 3.45, TA 5.4 g/l.


Very, very different from the Torres Mas la Plana tasted just before. Blueberries and toast. Much heavier. Nothing like the elegance. Even a little thick and like navy-blue ink dust stirred into charred blueberry syrup. Exaggerated. Almost a caricature of itself. I wonder if these extreme soils are best suited to bordeaux varieties in this hot climate? Might it be time to consider indigenous varieties that can cope better with the extreme soils and climate change? 

  • 86p
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Information

Origin

Catalunya, Penedès

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