Owned by Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III and the last Empress of France, Viñedos Hermanos Hernáiz is an estate with a noble and passionate heritage. Since 1996, the estate has been in the hands of two brothers named Eduardo and Victor Hernáiz. These brothers gave much more than just their name to the estate; they have nurtured it with their know-how and their family history, but also their ambition and their shared dreams. The colours, fragrances and flavours of these wines are depicted in this way: through vintages recognised for their elegance and minerality, they tell the story of a terroir and of family vineyards.
Las Cenizas 2018 comes from exceptional terroirs in La Rioja, a Spanish region known for the quality of its wines. The berries used to produce this cuvée come from three plots named Puentarrón, Los Hundidos and Sanchisnal which are located in Cenicero, a village which has historically been among the most sought-after. There, the tempranillo, mazuelo and viura vines benefit from a rich encounter between perfect exposure and varied soil. Indeed, the plots enjoy great exposure to the sun and span soils which mix lime, clay and gravel, offering a smooth and fresh wine with polished and fruity tannins.
Las Cenizas takes its name from the town of Cenicero, where the Hernáiz brothers come from. Cenicero means ashtray in Spanish, while Cenizas means ashes. The name comes from the ashes from the bonfires which shepherds left around the village.
The 2018 vintage was marked by unstable, cold and wet weather. The hail from early July slightly affected some of the plots. This, together with excess moisture, made significant sanitary control and treatments necessary. Ripening was slower than usual. Rain accompanied this long harvest, as well as mild temperatures, which allowed for good phenolic ripeness. A comprehensive selection of the bunches was therefore necessary, first on the site, then on the sorting table in the cellar.
Winemaking and ageing
After the manual harvests, which took place on 5 September, the grapes were taken to the cellar to begin a very natural winemaking process. Once destemmmed, the partly uncrushed grapes ferment in concrete tanks with temperature control and the use of native yeasts. Gentle pumpings are also carried out. Malolactic fermentation is then carried out in barrels. The wine is subsequently aged for 16 months in the same barrels, 40% of which are French and 60% of which are American.
Tempranillo (98%) and Mazuelo (2%).
Las Cenizas 2018 showcases a beautiful and deep ruby colour, with hints of violet.
The aromatic bouquet harmonises aromas of ripe black fruits, such as blueberry or plum, with very subtle, spicy notes, typical for tempranillo that has been cultivated under the sun. The oak is revealed little by little after a fruity expression.
Las Cenizas 2018 is an ample and full-bodied wine on the palate, offering a sublime expression of fruit. Its round character and its silky, ripe tannins make this cru a real delight on the palate.
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