Eduardo and Víctor Hernáiz have just launched their 2010 Reserva from the Finca La Emperatriz single estate, a wine which was awarded 93 points by the Wine Advocate in its tastings of wines from Rioja earlier this year.
Eduardo Hernáiz has always had a very clear concept for his ‘classic blend’ wines»: they should be wines with a very solid traditional background, but made with a modern philosophy. This may seem something of a paradox, but through hard work in the vineyard, precise craft and technique in the winery and sheer perseverence, the Hernáiz brothers seem to have achieved precisely that, as the Wine Advocate called it a Rioja Reserva which combines «the best of the traditional and modern styles.»
This is clearly a great source of satisfaction for the winery, in itself a blend of history and modernity, as one of the historically significant vineyards of Rioja, which once belonged to Empress Eugénie de Montijo and which is now owned and managed by the Hernáiz brothers.
The concept of making ‘contemporary classics’ is totally in line with the fundamental nature of the project. This range of wines is known as the “classic blends”, made from several grape varieties grown on distinct plots from within the single estate. There are three wines, Finca La Emperatriz Viura, Finca La Emperatriz Crianza and Finca La Emperatriz Reserva.
Finca La Emperatriz Rioja 2010 is based largely on the Tempranillo grape variety, with a small proportion of Garnacha (3%), Viura (2%) and Graciano (1%) from plots nº 4, 11, 14 and 15 of the Empress’ estate. This blend was aged for 23 months in barrels made from American oak. As described by The Wine Advocate’s tasting notes, it has «spicy, smoky notes with bright red fruit hinting on blood oranges” and shows «grainy tannins, good freshness and length» on the palate.