2019 Gómez Cruzado '2º Año' Blanco, Rioja DOCa, Spain (750ml)

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Gómez Cruzado is a boutique winery located in the well-known Barrio de la Estación, the railway station district in Haro (La Rioja). A unique place with a long history and tradition in winemaking, it is considered the birthplace of Rioja wine. Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to obtain DO status, in 1925. In 1991, it was promoted to DOCa (Qualified Designation of Origin), a higher category reserved for wines maintaining a proven consistency and quality over a long period of time. Rioja has three distinct subregions (Alavesa, Alta and Baja) as well as stylistic diversity ranging from the traditional oxidative wines to the fuller, more fruit-forward modern style.

Founded in 1886 by Ángel Gómez de Arteche, Gómez Cruzado is a historic winery and one of only sixteen Bodegas Centenarias (hundred-year-old wine cellars) in all of Rioja. The winery and vineyards were bought in 1916 by Rioja natives Ángel and Jesús Gómez Cruzado, for whom the winery is now named. In the early 2000s, the winery was purchased by the current owners—the Baños family—who, in 2008 brought in the leadership team of David González and Juan Antonio Leza, two young Riojan winemakers and viticulturalists, each with over a decade of winemaking experience in several different winegrowing regions.

A blend of 75% Viura & 25% Tempranillo Blanco. The grapes come from a singular plot, located on a slight slope in a high-altitude area of Haro, with a deep limestone layer, stony alluvial soil, and a mantle of pebbles at the surface. The fruit was handpicked, and hand sorted at the winery, the grapes saw a light pressing using 50% whole clusters. Fermentation was in stainless-steel with indigenous yeasts at constant temperature with minimal SO2. Élevage half in French oak and half in concrete tank—on the lees. The concrete tanks were constructed in 1924 and have been completely restored; the French oak is not toasted but bent with steam. Blanco Segundo Año refers to the time that the wine spends in the cellar before being released—sometime during the second year following the harvest.

Pale yellow with slight green tint. Complex aromatics with layers of citrus zest, grapefruit, lime and notes of honeysuckle. The palate is mineral-laced and beautifully textured, with flavors of underripe nectarine and apricot, lime, yellow grapefruit, tarragon and toasted hazelnut; the oak is seamlessly integrated. The finish is long and citrusy with a slight weightiness and, bright, juicy acidity.

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