Starting with the 2012 vintage, Calma is a single vineyard wine produced in the Rioja Alta subzone within the village of Hormilla. The name of the vineyard is Vina Badrinal. Calma means calm, or tranquility in Spanish. With Calma, winemaker Alberto Orte's goal is to produce an age-worthy wine to show the depth and quality of this great vineyard site.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Small production wine made from a single vineyard located in the village of Hormilla within Rioja Alta
RATING HISTORY: 2013 91VM, 2012 90VM; 2010 91IWR; 2010 90IWC 2008 89IWC
GRAPE: 100% Tempranillo. Vines planted from 1984-2002. Tended in red thin clay and sandy limestone soil at 568 m (1,865 ft) elevation
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: With so much spicy, peppery, red fruit character, this wine is a natural for olive bread and charcuterie, especially fattier meats like speck, prosciutto, black forest ham, and at the top of the list, jamon iberico. Tapenade, hummus, aged hard cheeses and sausage with fennel and similar casual bites will pair well with Calma.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: The wine is made using 15% whole cluster maceration. 85% of the bunches are de-stemmed and crushed. The must is macerated for 7 days at cool temperatures. It is then fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks for 15 days at 84F to extract more flavor and tannin, followed by a post-fermentation and extended maceration for 7 days. The goal with these vinification methods is to make a wine of longevity. The wine is aged for 16 months in oak barrels, 90% French and 10% American.
PRODUCTION: 3,000 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located in the town of Hormilla, Rioja Alta (Zone 3) at 568 meters (1,865 ft.) Hormilla has soils composed of thin red clay and sandy limestone, with small particles of thin clay. These soils find expression in the wine as ripe, structured, yet silky tannins. For climate, the average temperature from April-October is 61.5F with 18.3 inches of yearly rainfall. The moderately warm days and cool nights of this Continental Atlantic climate forces the grapes to ripen slowly, creating optimal conditions to produce wines that show brighter, more expressive aromas and more profound, complex fruit flavors.
TASTING NOTES: Deep red. Aromas of dried red berries, cherry pit, pipe tobacco and vanilla; a hint of white pepper adds vivacity. Coats the palate with smoke-accented cherry-vanilla and cassis flavors and shows very good energy and a seamless texture. The smoke and cassis notes carry through a sweet, subtly tannic finish that echoes the tobacco note. -- Josh Raynolds
All photos: Friederike Paetzold