The Bodega Hacienda López de Haro hidden gems: Grandes Reservas from exceptional Rioja Vintages
Since the creation of the Hacienda López de Haro winery, the Arambarri family, founder of Vintae, and our technical director, Raúl Acha, have set aside small amounts of wines, which given the special characteristics of the vintage in our Rioja vineyards, they were aware of their enormous capacity for laying down. They were special wines that deserved a more leisurely time. For years, these great vintages have been hidden, resting in the niches of Bodega Hacienda López de Haro until, finally, this spring the first two gems of Classica Hacienda López de Haro saw the light.
The new collection of our winery at San Vicente de la Sonsierra is composed (for the moment ?) of two wines: Classica Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva Blanco 2012 and Classica Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva Tinto 2001. The two wines are a reinterpretation of those “fine wines” that made La Rioja famous in the world and that is why Classica is also our tribute to the pioneers of Rioja, those characters who contributed to Rioja wines occupying a place of relevance at international level.
The first two jewels in the Classica crown
Classica Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva Blanco 2012 (our first white Gran Reserva) is elaborated with Viura, Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca from vineyards with an average age of 65 located in the Sonsierra and Alto Najerilla. For its part, Classica Hacienda López de Gran Reserva Tinto 2001, which was elaborated during the first vintage of Hacienda López de Haro, is a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano from vineyards located in the Sonsierra with an average age of 70.
Despite its longevity, the profile of these ‘grandes reservas’ respects the essence and philosophy of the winery to create contemporary classics, with aging over long periods in new and used oak that give prominence equally to the fruit aromas and those of the oak. The result is wines that stand out for their elegance and for having evolved positively in complexity, approaching their point of maximum expression, although with these wines only patience and time will tell what that point is.
On the label of Classica Hacienda Lopez de Haro Gran Reserva Blanco 2012, Jean Laurent takes a “selfie” with his bellows camera, in recognition of the contemporary character of these classics. Laurent, the photographer, arrived in Haro in 1863 on the newly installed railway. He was born in Burgundy, but it was the Queen of Spain, Isabel II, who commissioned him to photograph the region on the occasion of the inauguration of the first railroad route, which would link Bilbao with Tudela. Here he portrayed great personalities such as Espartero or Sagasta, and also immortalized scenes depicting local customs in Logroño, Cenicero or Briones. In Haro, Jean (or Juan, as he liked to be called) took the first picture of Haro, although the city would still take another decade to welcome the French ‘negociants’ who would help it become one of the wine capitals.
In the image of Classica Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva Tinto 2001, a plump clergyman with a barrel under his arm stands out. It is none other than Manuel Quintano, born in Labastida, and who went on to become the Dean of the Cathedral of Burgos, but according to the story, he was more interested in the vineyards than in ecclesiastical affairs. Convinced that something had to be done to improve the quality of Rioja Alavesa wine, this man of the cloth served as an industrial spy in Bordeaux during the grape harvest of 1785 and 1786. From there the Bordeaux method was brought and the wines began to make a name for themselves. However, his neighbors were not convinced of these methods and forbade him to use them, but the clergyman took the case to court and was allowed to continue working just as he had learned in France. Although the arrival of the war and Napoleon put paid to his plans and the method did not become widespread until the middle of the next century, Quintano is considered the pioneer of Riojan fine wines.
These two characters will be joined by other greats in the history of Rioja as soon as the treasures hidden in the cellars of Bodega Hacienda López de Haro see the light.
If you want to know more about the new collection, you can download the press kit and the tech sheets of the two wines. Soon we will tell you how was the party in which we presented Classica Hacienda Lopez de Haro at the Prowein Fair in Düsseldorf, so do not lose sight of the blog, you know that in VIntae we are very good at making wine, but also organize wine parties ! 😉