#WineReview Viña Pomal Compromiso. A #Rioja Wine for All Seasons

2015 Viña Pomal Compromiso. Courtesy Bodegas Bilbainas and @MariedeChesse

Spanish winemakers are in a constant drive for quality improvement and innovation and the region of Rioja is at the forefront. The launch of the new red wine was presented at Hispania Restaurant in the City of London, decorated with elegant Andalusian floor tiles and under the gastronomic coordination of award-winning chef Marcos Moran. The menu was a collaboration with Mario Sandoval, chef of the highly-praised Michelin restaurant Coque in Madrid, where the menu is experienced in five distinct areas. My highlights would be the crujiente de espardeña al pilpil, a crunchy type of sea cucumber in pilpil sauce; bonito curado en sal de polifenoles de vino, tuna (cantabrian bonito) cured in wine salt — an exquisite discovery; and peras al vino, poached pears in wine, a traditional Spanish dessert presented in a very playful manner.

Hispania Restaurant. Courtesy Hispania Restaurant and @MariedeChesse

Bodegas Bilbainas, based in the Rioja Alta district, are the makers of this wine and cava. I was very pleased to being introduced to the Viña Pomal Cava Blanc de Noirs, because the grape, garnacha tinta, red grenache, is very unusual in a cava. Golden yellow, with steel hints, as in early Autumn afternoons; with an intense and fresh nose. Notes of red berries as well as white fruit and citrus appear on the nose. Fresh and friendly, well balanced taste. Pairing dishes such as sushi, grilled fish,seafood as well as cheeses, although I was quite happy to enjoy it on its own.

Against the tide of a wave of simplification in wines, which I also support, 2015 Viña Pomal Compromiso is a blend of the five red grape varieties: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Maturana Tinta, Graciano and Mazuelo. An ambitious, mature and well-balanced project by the Bodega’s oenologist, Alejandro Lopez.

Mario Sandoval, Alejandro Lopez and Marcos Moran. Photo courtesy Bodegas Bilbainas and @MariedeChesse

The design has this nostalgic traditional French bottle that is very appealing in a fast pacing world. Each variety is vinified separately in order attain optimum ripeness then aged for 14 months. The separate vinification process aims to enhance the virtues of each variety: the balance and elegance of Tempranillo; the expressive charm of Garnacha; the exquisite rusticity of Graciano, the genuine spicy nuances of Maturana Tinta and the raw power of Mazuelo. After the final blend, the wine is aged for four months before bottling in 225L French and American tattooed oak barrels. Viña Pomal Compromiso is the first wine in the world aged in tattooed oak barrels.

The resulting wine has an extremely complex nose, with aromas of red fruit, violets, white pepper and spices blending with light vanilla and coffee hints. Amiable, fresh and lively in the mouth, with great body and persistent fruit. A wine that I highly recommend.

Lopez responds to the following questions:

LB: Viña Pomal Compromise displays a bottle design that sets it apart from the other wines. Why is that? And Where did you get the inspiration from?

AL: The main objective of Viña Pomal Compromiso is to perpetuate the values that have always been present in our centenarian winery: origin, land, tradition and commitment to excellence. All of them are values which have been part of our history and our wines since the beginnings and in order to pass them down through generations we chose the art of tattooing using a modern and contemporary language to reach different targets. For this reason we use a unique presentation from the rest of the Viña Pomal range keeping in mind that this is also a limited edition.

Viña Pomal Compromiso is also a tangible declination of our “Call Me Classic” campaign, appealing to the pride of being classic. We honestly think that even the most modern and trendy man over the world can appreciate something as classic as Viña Pomal wines. A more modern and disruptive line against the general classicism of our brand is used for going further than expected and capture the interest not only from our usual consumers but also from those who are not our core target.

LB: Viña Pomal Compromise has a mix of 5 varieties which presents an unusual complexity. What was the reason to do so?

Rioja is a land of coupage, of different plots and varieties. Having in mind to create a wine with a different profile, we have resorted to the 5 varieties of Rioja, as part of our commitment to our land. In this coupage we bring part of the most classic of Rioja, such as tempranillo or garnacha, and we also rely on Maturana tinta, mazuelo and graciano to provide more structure and complexity, also providing a more modern and fruity profile . The five red varieties of Rioja are combined to enhance the virtues of tradition and strength of character.

The grape varieties are vinified separately as they attained optimum ripeness and aged for 14 months. Vinification is aimed to enhance the virtues of each variety: the balance and elegance of the Tempranillo is achieved in French and American oak barrels, the fruit of the Garnacha, in concrete tanks, the spicy freshness of the Mazuelo in large butts and the power of Maturana Tinta in one-year-old French and American oak barrels.

LB: Viña Pomal Cava Blanc de Noirs consists of 100% Garnacha Tinta which makes a very elegant and fresh tasting. However, it is not a common grape to make cava. Can you explain to us what was the reasoning to use Garnacha Tinta?

AL: Subtlety and freshness are the main characteristics of Grenache Tinta variety in addition to acidity. When we work with this variety to make sparkling wine, the great acidity that Grenache shows invites us to make great aging wines. For us acidity is the best vehicle we have to age the wines, hence this cava has aged more than two years in bottle, also providing the fresh and red fruit nuances which are characteristic of the variety.

For more information, please visit their website on www.vinapomal.com