Spain is the third largest wine producing country in the world and whose dominant feature is the vast plateau known as the Meseta Central that covers much of central Spain. Several of Spain's principal rivers that are at the heart of many Spanish wine regions flow to the sea from that central area. These include the eastward flowing Ebro river that runs through the Rioja and several Catalan wine regions and the Duero which flows westward through Ribera del Duero.More than 400 grape vaieties are grown in Spain, but the top 20 account for more than 80% of total production. Key red varieties include Tempranillo, Bobal, Garnacha and Monastrell, while the main white varieties are Airen, Viura/Macabeo and Palomino and Albarino.Spanish wines are often labeled according to the amount of aging the wine has received, with the youngest being called Tinto or Joven. Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate increasingly longer aging periods in barrel and bottle prior to release.
Viña Pomal Crianza is the flagship wine of Bodegas Bilbaínas, one of Rioja’s oldest estates, and has now been produced for over 100 years. The winery had a bottling plant near London’s Charing Cross in the 1940’s, and Viña Pomal was reputed to be a favourite of Winston Churchill. The wine is ruby with violet hues, while the nose is intense, dominated by floral and fruity aromas (black fruit) with notes of liquorice, vanilla and toasted flavours. The palate is balanced, soft and fresh. Shows good structure and soft tannins.
Viña Pomal Reserva follows the classical model of Bodegas Bilbainas Reserva wines. It is made according to a traditional Rioja process: a moderately long maceration time and, after alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, the wine is decanted and clarified slightly before being moved to casks. Then the wine is aged in semi new American oak casks for 18 months. After its time in the cask, the wine will rest for two years in the bottle before going to market.
The winery’s vineyards for its Crianza lie at a very high elevation of 800 meters and are among the most dramatic and steep in Rioja. The vines reach up to 100 years of age and are located within a Biosphere reserve, where they are cultivated organically.