Bodegas Olarra is known for their wine making ability as much as they’re known for their passion for architecture. The same innovative mentality they use to design and build these pieces of architectural art, they apply to their wines. Their Summa Rioja is one of their best bottlings, and it is only made in their best vintages.
2015 was one of the better vintages in Rioja in the past decade with a long dry growing season. With conditions like this, the grapes have less liquid in them with a higher concentration of sugars and flavor. When the wine is produced, it tends to be much more complex and fuller body. With the added oak, it is even more structured.
The Summa Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo, Mazuela, and Graciano which all are sourced from a single vineyard that is known for their 40 year old vines and low yields. The juice is vinified in stainless steel and then aged for 24 months in brand new barrels. The final product is then bottled without any fining agents added to the wine. After another 18 months in the bottle, kept in their cellar, the wine is then released.
Summa, being made from only the best grapes in the best vintages, is very full bodied. Lots of fruit notes up front, earth tones on the mid palate, and a long rich oak finish. It has a few great reviews, but Josh Raynolds from Vinous Media paints the perfect picture of what this wine is like, “(malo in new American and French oak barrels, followed by two years of aging in new barrels of similar origin) Bright violet color. A deeply perfumed, mineral-accented bouquet displays ripe boysenberry, cherry-cola, licorice pastille and vanilla scents. A suave spice cake nuance builds with air. Coats the palate with sweet red and blue fruit, mocha and candied rose flavors that show impressive clarity and back-end lift. Smooth, slow-building tannins add subtle grip to the impressively long, broad finish, which echoes the vanilla and blue fruit notes.”
Bodegas Olarra is one of the great modern producers of Rioja. The Summa Reserva is one of their top bottlings and is rarely made. There are only 350 cases of this wine in total brought into the US, and it is a great wine to have in your cellar. Drink now for a powerful red, or lay it down for some time. It is extremely versatile, which makes it a great wine for everyone!