All my wine blogs

What it takes to make exceptional wines – Part I.

“What is your favorite wine?” For me, that’s the hardest question to answer. Honestly – I don’t think I have just one. There are too many wines that I love and new, impressive ones coming out every year. My current favorite depends on my mood or what new wine I just tasted. That’s like having ten kids and someone asked you which one is your favorite!

But there is one wine that I admire for several vintages. It’s not a typical example of Rioja red (where it originated), and it is too delicate for some people’s palate. This single vineyard wine is just so different than anything else I have ever tasted from Rioja (and believe me, I have tasted plenty). It got character, charm and elegance. This wine lacks those huge, impressive tannins that some wine drinkers are so attracted to. For me, it was a love at the first sight. It’s a very special wine to me, ever since ‘we first met’

I am talking about Señorío de San Vicente. When I first tasted it (I think it was 2000 vintage), I didn’t know anything about its winemaker. So I did some research and found out that Eguren family’s wine making history goes back to 1870. The newest generation used the experience of their ancestors and modern technology to the perfection.

Then I had a chance to taste more of their exceptional wines – Sierra Cantabria, El Bosque, Numanthia, Termanthia (their project in Toro), El Puntido or super affordable line of Eguren Protocolo and Codice. All these wines (and many more) had the same name in common – Marcos Eguren.

People say that wine is made in the vineyard. Marcos believes in this philosophy as well.

I agree one hundred percent, with one addition: the winemaker makes the wine.

His approach to the vineyard, his respect for the land and the vine can expose the best of the grape and nature magic (terroire), or kill it.

That’s what fascinates me about Marcos’s work. Let it be Sierra Cantabria Crianza that sells for $16.00 a bottle, or its Gran Reserva for about $40.00 – or perhaps the boutique wine he made famous, Termanthia from Toro (Wine Advocate rated 2005 vintage 97 points) for $200.00.

It doesn’t matter. Each wine will be cared for with the same respect.
That’s the true signature of this winemaker – he let’s the wine speaks for itself. That doesn’t mean though that all those wines taste the same….

Continuation in Part II.

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