Viña Pomal Reserva 2016 – Bodegas Bilbaínas.
Rioja wines have a typical profile, they are real classics in the wine world. The reds are mostly made of Tempranillo grapes although some wineries are supplementing them with a low percentage of other varieties. Viña Pomal (Bodegas Bilbaínas) makes some excellent examples of Rioja reds, in different styles.
In this review we are discussing their 2016 Reserva (Terruño Centenario) created for their 100-year anniversary. A Rioja classic by Viña Pomal.
About the Winery
Bodegas Bilbaínas is the longest-standing bottling winery in Rioja. Viña Pomal is its flagship brand, which embodies the Rioja Alta’s best winemaking tradition. These are exceptional wines that have remained faithful to the classic style of authentic Rioja. These days the winery belongs to the Spanish Raventós Codorníu group.
The winery was founded in 1901 in the region’s wine capital Haro. Bilbaínas has the most extensive underground cellars in the region and a greater area of vineyards than any other winery in the town: 250 hectares of high-quality vines, which supply the winery with its own grapes, ensuring that they can be processed quickly without losing their qualities.
The Viña Pomal estate covers 90 hectares out of the 250 hectares of vineyards. They are located inside the municipality of Haro and less than 2 kilometers from the winery, in one of the town’s most beautiful enclaves, overlooking the Ebro river as it flows downstream through the Conchas de Haro pass.
The estate features different ecosystems with different soils and varying degrees of exposure to the sun, which calls for the careful selection of homogenous zones. The estate’s viticulture combines traditional Rioja practices with precision winegrowing techniques, which result in state of the art environmentally friendly winegrowing, always with a view to obtaining premium quality.
About the Wine
This Reserva is made with grapes from a selection of different vineyard plots. Fermentation at 28 °C and a 3 weeks’ total maceration. It is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels, 20% new oak. During this time, periodic rackings allow the winery to clarify the wine through natural decanting. After barrel ageing, the wine is aged for two years in the bottle before being put on market.
This edition of the Reserva has a different labelling, celebrating the 100-year anniversary. Therefore, it is named Terruño Centenario Reserva.
In the glass the typical Rioja expression, a deep dark colour with a ruby-red rim. What follows is a nose that is filled with fruit, floral and spicy notes. Expect the typical smell of violets and red berries all wrapped together by sweet vanilla, liquorice and roasted coffee. On the palette you encounter a wine that is mature, warm and lively, but still with enough freshness and a nice balance. This creates a nice subtle elegance, whereas the wine ends with a persistent finish.
Be sure however to put the wine in a carafe for some time to give it the opportunity to open itself. Or put it away for another decade, it will further develop over time.
You never forget your first Rioja; these wines are so typical that they can surely be referred to as classics in the wine world. This Viña Pomal Reserva is a true classic. It is what you expect from a Rioja red, staying true to its origin and soul. Fruit, spices, warmth and liveliness, it’s all there. The depth and complexity could be improved a bit but at this price point it is well worth stocking up.
To refer to the words of the famous Spanish actor Pedro Alonso (Berlin, La Casa de Papel): “Un clásico tiene un encanto especial, por eso resiste el paso del tiempo y siempre está de moda – A classic has a special charm, that’s why it resists the passage of time and is always in style”.
We award this wine with a 91/100 DWA score. It is available online at Petit Clos.
Taste date: December 2022
Score: 91/100 DWA Score
Website: Bodegas Bilbaínas