The brothers of Grimon have something of a fairy tale life in a secluded corner of Spain’s Rioja Alto region, but they have to work hard to ensure a happy ending. Fortunately they are doing a great job in producing organic wines that are typically Spanish but made in a modern and thoughtful manner.
Paco (pictured) and Eliseo Olivan take great care to ensure the grapes are grown in an ethical and healthy way, with no herbicides or pesticides used in the process – they use sheep manure as fertiliser. Harvests are completed by hand and the wines are aged for a lengthy period before bottling. Paco takes charge of the bodega and Eliseo is responsible for the viticulture.
Hacienda Grimon is in the village of Ventas Blancas around 15 minutes from Rioja’s provincial capital, Logrono. The current bodega was constructed in 1999, replacing the house where the brothers’ grandparents had lived, and the first wine was produced three years later. Grimon now makes a range of red, white and rosé wines using only grapes grown on the site – many makers in La Rioja add in some from elsewhere to help offset the impact of low yielding vines.
The Rosado uses Garnacha, and is a lighter, fresher style of Spanish rosé. It is strong on red fruit flavours and fresh on acidity, a bit different from many of the pinks in this part of the world.
The Blanco Crianza is a white made from the Viura grape – a small part of the Grimon harvest. It is pale and refreshing with some acidity that makes it perfect as an aperitif or with food such as fish or chicken.
Among the reds, we like the Tempranillo which is fermented and aged in stainless steel. Unlike many other wines from Rioja which are classed as ‘joven’ – young wines often from the current vintage – no carbonic maceration is employed during the winemaking process.
Those who prefer a more structured wine will like the Tempranillo Reserva which has more prominent oak flavours and dense, plummy fruit flavours.
The Crianza – a Spanish term for wine that is at least two years old – showcases the juicy characteristics of the Tempranillo grape, without any oak influence. It is produced using grapes that are carefully selected from three different vineyard parcels. The wine is aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, giving aromas of black fruits together with notes of black pepper and sweet spices. The Grimon version has more body than many others in this category as a result of the high quality of the fruit used and time spent ageing in oak.
Spanish wines have moved on a great deal over recent years, and the modern methods adopted by the brothers are a good example of why that is happening. We hope you’ll agree!