Drinks International | Rise of Rioja’s carbonically macerated reds

GET TO KNOW RIOJA

Rioja is known for food-friendly and great value traditional reds, the work of an old tradition meets a new wave of producers is on the rise and also worth the taste. Such a winemaking style in the region is also rooted in a history of generations of producers.

In the Logroño, La Rioja’s capital city, you’ll see people drinking “tinto fresco”, as a perfect accompaniment to meals. The first wines in history were made by storing whole grapes (without destemming) in tanks, thus causing intracellular fermentation. To this day, Vineyards in Rioja maintain that same essence, carbonic maceration, and create an origin line.

Wine Spectator defines:

Carbonic Maceration

Most frequently associated with Beaujolais, this is a method of producing light-bodied, fresh and fruity red wines. Instead of crushing the grapes and releasing the juices to be fermented by yeasts, whole grape bunches are placed in a tank and the oxygen is displaced by carbon dioxide. Fermentation starts on an intracellular level inside the berry, producing some alcohol as well as fruity aromatics. In practice, the weight of the grapes on the top crushes the grapes on the bottom and yeasts ferment the juice; the wine is partly a product of carbonic maceration and partly of traditional yeast fermentation.

 

Albiker Tempranillo and Viura
The first wines in history were made by storing whole grapes (without destemming) in tanks, thus causing intracellular fermentation. To this day, Albiker maintains that same essence, carbonic maceration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milflores Tinto
Wine produced using the latest technology to preserve its fresh and fruity profile. Semi-carbonic maceration. Produced with grapes that are destemmed, but not crushed, to avoid breaking the skins. Floating cap and daily pumping-over. Temperature-controlled fermentation.

 

 

Rioja_Eree_punto wine bottle
At Remírez de Ganuza however, winemaker Jesús Mendoza’s goal when making Erre Punto is to create the purest carbonic maceration wine possible. He stressed the importance of using smaller (i.e. shorter and wider) fermentation vats. These serve to take the pressure off the berries at the bottom, leaving them mostly intact and thus allowing the overwhelming majority to undergo intracellular fermentation, which creates more pronounced carbonic flavors in the process. María Larrea uses a similar approach at Cune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While stem removal in the 19th century became common across Rioja for the new vinos finos made by names like Marqués de Riscal and Marqués de Murrieta (inspired in turn by Bordeaux’s Classed Growths), whole-bunch fermentation continued to be important for local consumption within Rioja Alavesa.  Even as late as 1989, wineries such as Luis Cañas only produced carbonic maceration wines. Source: FWS

Read more from Drinks International 

Discover More

Trade Secrets

Contact

Bodegas Available for
Export in the US

Bodegas Ontanon
CVNE
Vivanco
European Cellars/ Eric Solomon Selections
Europvin
Evaton
Fine Estates From Spain
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Frederick Wildman & Sons
Grupo Bodegas Faustino
Marques de Riscal
Ole Imports
Opici Wines
Osborne USA
Palm Bay International
Quintessential
Shaw-Ross International Importers
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Terlato
The Artisan Collection
The Drink Collective
Vinamericas Selections LLC
Vineyard Brands, Inc.
W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd.
Winebow
Winebow (MundoVino, a member of The Winebow Group)
Zamora Americas
220 Imports
A.I. Selections
ARAEX/Spanish Fine Wines
Arborway Imports
Artevino
Ascent Wines
Assa Imports
Astor Wines
Austral Wine Merchants
Aveniu Brands
Baron Francois
BCG Consulting
Bodega Classica/Vintae
Bodegas Castillo de Mendoza
Bodegas Corral, S.A.
Bodegas Medrano Irazu
Bodega Nivarius
Bodegas Ontanon
Bodegas Pastor Diaz
Bodegas Patrocinio, SCL
Bodegas Riojanas
Bodegas Tobia
Bodegas Valdelana
Bon Vivant Imports
Boutique Wine Collection
Bronco Wine Company
C & P WinesBronco Wine Company
Carolina Wine Brands USA
Casa Ventura Imports, Inc.
Cerda y Llanos
Chartrand Imports
Chateau Armand
Classic Wines
Classical Wines from Spain
Cognac One, LLC
Coleccion International Del Vino USA (CIV USA)
Constellation Wines
Constellation Wines
David Bowler Wine
De Maison Selections
DFV Wines
Dionysos Imports
Divino Imports
Domaine Select
Dreyfus Ashby & Co
Eguren Ugarte
Elite Wines
Emporium Nostrum
ENYE Imports Group
Familia Martinez Bujanda
Felix Solis Avantis
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Folio Wine Partners
Francisco Selections, Inc.
Freixenet USA
Frontier Wine Imports
Garnacha Inc
GECO Global Group USA
Golden State Wine Co.
Gonzalez-Byass
Grapes of Spain
Grupo Bodegas Olarra
Grupo Principe de Viana
H.A.B. North America
HGC Imports Inc.
Hidalgo Imports
HP Selections
International Wine & Spirits
Janet Kafka
Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd.
La Rioja Alta
Laurel Importers
Lionstone International
Lopez de Haro
Luneau USA, Inc
Maisons Marques & Domaines
Marfa Group
Marques de Murrieta
Michael Skurnik Wines
MJM Imports
Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.
Murphy Distribution
Natural Wine Co.
New Age Imports
Noble House Wines
North American Organic
Omniwines
P.R.Grisley Co.
Parador Selections
Paternina
Pernod Ricard USA
Pipeline Distribution
Polaner Selections
Protecom Wines Inc.
Regal Wine Imports
RM Distributors
RM Mabor
RMB
Roda
Romero & Miller, LLC
Royal Wine Corp.
Serendipity Wines
Signature Imports
SolStar Wines
Spain Wine Collection
Spanish Vines Imports, Inc.
Specialty Cellars
Steve Miles Selection
T Edward Wines
Tempranillo Inc
Terra Nostra Vinos
Terroir
Testa Wines of the World Ltd.
The House of Burgundy, Inc.
The Marchetti Co./Scoperta Importing Co.
The Spanish Wine Imports
Think Global Wines LLC
Torres
Tradewinds Specialty Imports
Transatlantic
Tri Vin Imports
United Cellars
United Wineries/MHW
USA Wine West
Vin de Terra Imports, Inc.
Vin Divino
Vinaio Imports, Ltd.
Vinole Wines
Vinos and Gourmet Jose Pastor Selections
Vinos Libres
Vintage Wines
VINTUS
Vision Wine & Spirits, LLC
Well Oiled Company
Wine Associates, Inc.
Winebow
WineLite Imports
Winesellers, Ltd.
WineWise