Cortijo Rosado (Lagrima Style)
Cortijo Rosado is a beautiful example of how great dry rosÃ© from Rioja can be. Rioja is Spain's most prestigious region and for wine drinkers who want to learn more about this magical, storybook wine region, and enjoy an uncommonly good rosÃ©- there's no better introduction than Cortijo Rosado. Cortijo means, cottage or shack, a reference to the fact that shacks, often times, make better wine than most high-flown Chateaux in Rioja. The Philosophy of Cortijo is very simple yet very effective: to make better wine, you need to harvest better grapes. Cortijo improves the quality of its wines by doing a better job in the vineyards. Rather than building a chateau or a beautiful tasting room, Cortijo pays to take care of the only meaningful ingredient, the grapes. Beginning with the 2009 vintage, Cortijo is made with estate-owned grapes. The goal with Cortijo is to show a pure, youthful expression of Rioja Alta. Cortijo is a sort of â€œnon-profit organizationâ€. It is very difficult to find such a pure expression of Rioja at this price point.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? A rosÃ© made in the Provence style resulting in a dry, yet rich vibrant Rose. 100% estate-bottled wine from Rioja Alta. The wine exhibits both body and bright acidity. It is a humble wine with great complexity at an unbelievable price.
RATING HISTORY: 2016 89VM; 2013 88RP 2011 89RP 2010RP 2008 88RP
GRAPE: 100% Garnacha. Organically grown vines planted in 1983. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 568 m (1,865 ft) elevation
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: From a food pairing perspective, these wines are perfect. Just the right amount of acidity and body to match foods that fall in the middle of the food and wine pairing spectrum. So think olives, tapenades, salads, charcuterie, pate, prosciutto, cheeses, cold seafood platters, chinese bbq pork, indian food, etc.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: At harvest, Garnacha grapes are picked and brought to the winery to be de-stemmed and crushed. The stems are discarded, and the skins and juice are pumped into a tank. In a few hours, the grape skins begin to separate from the juice. Once the cap has formed, the pink-colored juice is pumped or â€œbled offâ€ into a tank to ferment. The wine is aged in stainless steel to retain its fresh, expressive aromas and flavors.
PRODUCTION: 5,000 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located in the towns of Hormilla, within the Rioja Alta (Zone 3), Briones and Arenzana, the latter two sited at approximately 568 meters (1,865 ft.) elevation. The soils in Briones are thin red clay and sandy limestone. In Arenzana the soils are clay and limestone with alluvial sediment. For climate, the area's average temperature from April-October is 61.5F with 18.3 inches of yearly rainfall. The moderately warm days and cool nights of this Continental Atlantic climate forces the grapes to ripen slowly, resulting in wines that show brighter aromas and more fruit flavors.
TASTING NOTES: light pink in color, it offers up an alluring nose of rose petal, cherry, and strawberry. Dry, round, and spicy on the palate. Cortijo Rosado is a terrific rose as well as an undeniable bargain.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold