A wine from Rioja rocked by the sun. The team at Queirón keep pushing the boundaries, and a new style has evolved from the old traditions of this special region, with this high altitude Tempranillio grape, from their La Pasada vineyard. It's a new style of elaboration in Rioja that springs from the inspiration in the queleña tradition of raisining its Claudian plums that bask on hurdles, resulting in the Ensayos Capitales No 3 Asoleao.

“Everybody here has these cane hurdles at home for drying plums. In our fields the vineyards are interspersed with plots of greengage orchard, so it occurred to us that we could use this fruit’s traditional sun-drying method for turning them into prunes for our grapes as well, in pursuit of greater concentration and the ultimate purification of the wine’s sensation on the palate, on the nose and on the eye” says Rubén Pérez Cuevas, wine maker at Queirón.

In Jerez where Sherry is made, exposure to the sun was historically carried out with harvested bunches of grapes laid out on mats of different forms and materials, with the most classical being the use of circular straw mats made of esparto. The grapes are dried giving Sherry that extra concentrated taste. “In Quel, the sun-drying is done on old cane hurdles which are used for drying plums, on which we carefully lay out the clusters after manual picking. We turn them over every day so that the rays of the sun have the most even effect on the grape berries as possible“, Rubén stresses. This results in a unique wine that harnesses the power of the sun and every ounce of richness can be tasted in the Rioja.

March 29, 2022 — Michael McDonnell
Tags: red wine rioja

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