Dominio de Cair Crianza is a full-bodied wine. It is so appealing, elegant and refined, with intense and complex aromas of blackcurrant fruit, leather and dark chocolate and a wonderfully complex and succulent palate of blackfruits with well integrated oak. This wine demonstrates how power and finesse can be brilliantly combined; the flavours really do go on and on. A consistently excellent Ribera Crianza.
In 2013 despite a cool start to the growing year, a long dry summer resulted in full fruit ripeness at harvest and fine flavour development. This is very much a treat wine of savoury complexity.
The vineyards and Bodega are situated in Agulera near Arando del Duero; currently they have 70 hectares. Typical of this higher altitude area, their vineyards are at 800 – 950 metres and exposed to the usual extreme weather of this region. This is a typical continental climate with fairly hot summers and very cold winters. There are fewer than 140 days frost free per year and late frosts are not unusual, which can significantly reduce yields. The soils in the area are varied but limestone is prevalent which is beneficial for production of wines.
The grapes for this wine come from vines of 40 – 50 years old with a maximum yield of 3500kg per hectare. The grapes are hand-picked, placed in small boxes to reduce any damage to the grapes. They are quickly transported to the Bodega where they are hand selected on sorting tables. They undergo fermentation in stainless steel which is then followed by a malolactic fermentation in oak barrels; 50% French and 50% US oak. They remain in 225 litre barricas for 14 months ageing.
Juan Luis Cañas (who makes top Rioja wines) and Juan Jose Iribecampos joined forces in the early part of 2000 to look for vineyards in Ribera del Duero, and found a site with well established vines from 30 – 60 years old. They built a stunning, purpose built winery where the grapes enter the winery straight into the fermentation tank area, and following fermentation the juice moves by gravity to the area with oak barrels. Now Juan J Irebecampos has less of a stake and there is some Chinese investment in this project. It remains, however, a family focussed Bodega like Luis Cañas in Rioja. They also make an excellent Roble; see also Cuvee de Cair 2015.
In its first vintage Cair was voted the best Crianza in Ribera del Duero – no mean feat – in its second vintage 2009, it went on to win the IWC Ribera del Duero Trophy in 2013!
“Dark chocolate, mulberries and speaks of new season red cherries. Integrated oak spice, grippy tannins and great finish.” IWC panel 2013
“Beneath a veneer of vanilla and liquorice spice is a stylish red whose cassis fruit is supported by a classic savoury freshness.” Anthony Rose MW; Saturday Independent 19 July 2014
Sells in a few independent merchants at £26.50: Bush Vines competive price is £21.95