Today we will hear the views of María Martínez, technical director of Bodegas Patrocinio, about the profile of the wines from the 2016 harvest. María is a pharmacologist and holds a a postgraduate degree in oenology, and in 2016 she took part in her twentieth harvest. She also sits on the tasting panel for the Regulatory Board of Rioja.
-The Regulatory Board has classified the 2016 harvest as “very good”. Which qualities would you highlight?
-The requirements to pass the qualification exam have been increased over the past years, with more stringent quality parameters being introduced. Does Bodegas Patrocinio carry out exhaustive monitoring at every stage in the cycle?
Of course: from field to bottle, daily monitoring is of utmost importance, particularly during harvesting, which is when each of the wines and their final destination will be determined.
-How can we ensure optimal phenolic maturation?
Good things come to those who wait. You cannot get ahead of yourself, and you must always be on top of the maturation inspections and intensify them if necessary, as was the case this year.
-From the start of the monitoring of grape maturation, the excellent quantitative and qualitative forecasts that Rioja vineyards were presenting were confirmed. Is it common for these two conditions to arise in determining the qualification?
It depends. It is surprising that having such a large quantity of grapes would result in good wines, but the art lies in the selection and in good decision-making, most of all when it comes to choosing “which grape for which wine”.
-Did the health status influence the 2016 harvest?
Without a doubt, the harvests were very calm for that reason: we were NOT in a hurry!!!
-The 2016 harvest was surprising because of its lengthy development over the course of two months. Was the good weather a determining factor?
Yes. Like I said, if health does not pose a risk, and the weather is on our side… we are all calmer, more thoughtful. We plan better, and that means we can do great things and produce great results.
-Are there any outstanding qualities we can identify in the 2016 harvest as a result of its lengthy development, compared with the 2015 harvest, which was one of the earliest in the region’s memory?
Basically, the balance between the phenolic and alcoholic maturity. In 2015, alcoholic maturity was sacrificed, producing wines with high alcohol content. And in 2016, both went hand in hand to produce balanced, structured wines with a more satisfactory alcohol content.
-What are the defining characteristics of the average profile of the wines at Bodegas Patrocinio in the 2016 harvest?
Every wine is different, and so is every brand. One thing they do have in common is that they are all made with loving care: at the moment I am very proud to have my hands on an excellent vintage with quality wines thanks to Bodegas Patrocinio’s grapes and its team, which has been striving for balanced Riojas, with potential as its future crianzas, which will delight our palates for yet another year. But if I had to classify them with adjectives: an elegant Rioja with good balance, which won’t leave you indifferent, in which fruit reigns supreme once again.
-Is the role of the wood fundamental in the oxygenation of certain wines?
This is Rioja!!! Wood is a partner for our wines.
-What about whites and rosés?
It shouldn’t be up to me to say so, though we outdo ourselves every year!!!
-In 2005, Bodegas Patrocinio started a new project, which they named “Vendimia Seleccionada” (Selected Harvest). The objective they set out was to create a new range of high-quality wines from a selection of a few plots out of the 525 hectares that comprise the vineyard that are situated between 550 and 590 metres above sea level and whose vines are over 30 years old. How have these wines developed?
They are developing fantastically. But we are very demanding, and we still have a long way to go. If you give it your all, the grape will too. The grape we are using is our SWEETHEART: with her, we can achieve great wines and play around with them to satisfy the various markets and wine profiles, which will give us something different, but without losing our identity and while still remembering that we are Rioja.
So without a doubt, we are very proud.