Beronia is renowned for its Rioja Alta vineyards, its gastronomic origins, and its innovative barrel program. The Rioja region is subdivided into three areas, Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa; Beronia is located in Ollauri, at the heart of Rioja Alta, with the highest elevation of the three areas. The area is influenced by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and has a mix of clay and chalky soils.
Beronia wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name is linked to the history of the area. During the 3rd Century BC the region, known today as La Rioja Alta, was inhabited by the ‘berones’, a Celtic tribe who called the area ‘Beronia’.
The winery was founded in 1973 by a group of friends from the Basque country who wanted the best wine to accompany their gastronomic get-togethers (called Txoko in their native Basque). The winery was acquired by Gonzalez Byass in 1982, while some of the original founders still visit the winery to dine as they have done for decades.
The winery is surrounded by 20 hectares of own vineyards. The technical team at Beronia also control 870 hectares of vineyards within a 10km radius of the winery, enabling them to exercise optimum control over the quality. Beronia’s blend is led by Tempranillo, and complemented by Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Viura. Sustainable agriculture is practiced at every level with certain vineyards certified organic.
The role of oak is key to the Beronia style. The winemaker and his team are constantly studying how the wines react to different levels of toasting and types of wood. These experiments have led to Beronia’s pioneering development of mixed barrels; produced from American oak staves and French oak tops.
Beronia was created, and has evolved over the years with gastronomy always in mind—being the perfect accompaniment many foods from traditional Riojan dishes to modern Basque pintxos.
Consistently receiving awards from the most important international competitions, today Beronia is one of the top five Rioja brands in Spain, and is sold in over 80 international markets.
The Rioja Regulatory Council classified the 2012 harvest officially as “Very good”. Following a mild winter that saw light frosts and very little rain. Flowering and fruit set were a little late, both happening in June after hail storms that affected most of the Rioja Alavesa. A warm and dry summer forced the harvest to start 10 days earlier than expected. As a result, after carrying out the appropriate ripeness checks, we had to harvest the grapes selectively, by area and variety, which yielded prime quality grapes in excellent health.
After the best grapes were carefully selected from the Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo vineyards, they were cold macerated for several days prior to fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation took place next, at between 26 and 28ºC, with periodic pumping over. The must was allowed to macerate again post-fermentation. Lastly, Beronia Gran Reserva 2012 spent 28 months in French oak barrels, completing its aging with a further 36 months in bottle prior to release.
“Rioja is a great choice for people who enjoy both structure and elegance.” ~James Suckling
Aging: 28 months in French Oak barrels
Tasting Notes: 93% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano and 3% Mazuelo. Beronia Gran Reserva 2012 is a very deep garnet color. On the nose, it displays a vast array of aromas, from stewed ripe fruit to prunes and nuts such as walnuts. Subtle hints of tobacco and powdered cacao also come through, together with white pepper and balsamic notes that add freshness. It delivers distinct notes of fruit and nuts on the palate, which provide structure and tannin. The wine is long, very complex, balanced, and also sophisticated.
Plenty of berries with sweet oak, walnuts with some dried flowers. Medium-to full-bodied, fruity and chocolatey. Coffee, too. Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. ~93 James Suckling