The grapes to produce Rioja Ondarre Gran Reserva Bodegas Ondarre were fermented with inoculated yeast at temperatures of between 25 to 28°C, with daily pumping over and délestage (rack and return) taking place to extract colour, flavour and tannins. The wine went through malolactic conversion in new oak casks, originating from Missouri and Central France. Ageing took place on the lees, lasting for 28 months with regular racking. In order to retain maximum concentration, the wine was fined naturally, with a series of successive rackings. Once bottled, Rioja Ondarre Gran Reserva Bodegas Ondarre received bottle ageing for 32 months. As the wine was bottled without tartaric stabilisation, it may leave a deposit in the bottle, so decanting is recommended.
The carefully selected grapes for this wine come from old vineyards surrounding the village of Viana, which overlooks the Rioja Valley, in what is now known as Rioja Oriental. The climate is continental with a noticeable Mediterranean influence. The 40 year old, low yielding vines are situated on the slopes which climb up towards the Sierra Mountains at elevations of 600 to 750 metres, where the diversity of the soils contribute to the complexity in the wine. To the north of the village, the soils are very shallow – approximately 40 centimetres deep- on a bedrock of sedimentary rock, with soil comprising sand, clay and limestone. The terrain is quite uneven here, due to several streams that run down from the mountains and create a special microclimate. The streams ensure good drainage which encourages the Gobelet trained vines to struggle a little to produce concentrated wines.
Bodegas Ondarre was founded in 1985, with the aim of creating wines which showcase the region’s distinct terroirs. The cooperative winery is situated in the town of Viana which overlooks the Rioja Valley in Rioja Oriental and has formed trusted relationships with the highest quality growers in the area, with whom they have been working since 1985. The Reservas are Bodegas Ondarre’s most acclaimed wines, which win top awards and critical approval every year. They attribute their success to hard work in the vineyards and their continual investment in the winery and barrel stock. They use both French and American oak casks to help them obtain the character in their wines. They also produce a few thousand cases of a single varietal Graciano – a real rarity due to the low yielding nature of this variety.