Blog: A Tale of Two Wine Regions (Part II)
As seen last week, Rioja and Priorat are the two highest-ranking Spanish wine regions, a distinction they share despite being mostly very different. To get a different point of view of what those two regions “tick”, I looked at all the wines from those two regions that Markus and Andreas have tasted, and looked at the wineries with the most consistently high results. Two of the wineries did stand out (though it has to be said that a number of wineries consistently get top scores for their Priorat wines). The interesting thing is that the two wineries – Bodegas Roda in Rioja and Clos Mogador in Priorat have as much in common as their regions are different.
Bodegas Roda, in Rioja, was founded in 1987 by Catalans Mario Rotllant and Carmen Daurella. Armed with their vision for a “modern” red Rioja, they decided not to grow and own their own vineyard, but to secure contractual agreements with 28 different existing vineyards. The vines there were old (30 to 100 years), which gave the bodega’s owners the quality grapes they needed to make their dream wine come true. Their long-term vision also seduced Agustín Santolaya, who soon became General Manager at the bodega. Mr. Santolaya, a born-and-bred Rioja man of passion and vision, is now widely recognized as one of the great leaders of the Rioja Renaissance.
Together in their very innovative winery, the team of Mr. Rotllant, Mrs. Daurella and Mr. Santolaya make wines that are much less marked by the oak than traditional Rioja wines, and offer a terrific (and widely saluted by the critics) balance between fruit and power. Markus and Andreas are especially laudatory when it comes to the Roda I series, which in its price range is highly recommended. The bodega is also a great place to visit if you happen to be in Rioja!