Roda Latest Release 2020
…today, Roda has become the essence of fine-tuned classicism. SARAH JANE EVANS, Decanter
Roda was and still is an ambitious project founded by entrepreneurs and wine lovers Mario Rotllan and Carmen Daurella. When setting out their aim was to stand tall against the backdrop of the established superstars of the region while creating a unique expression of Rioja. Established in 1987, by the early 2000’s Roda had quickly gained a reputation as one of Rioja’s top producers. Rotllant had achieved this by selecting a viticultural and wine-making team that had extensive experience outside of Rioja but not within, the idea to approach the region with a clean slate and to not be held captive to any preconceptions.
For me and many others they are the ultimate go-between of ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ styled Rioja – plush, velvety fruit, beautifully structured with ribbons of sweet, classy oak deftly weaved into the wine.
As Agustín Santolaya GM claims, Roda’s wines “find that magic balance between volume and airiness, voluptuousness and freshness; wines for enjoying from the moment they appear on the market but which live through many decades”.
That sentiment is something that has kept me coming back to these wines since I first tried them so early on in my wine career. Their ability to age so gracefully and yet maintain the pure fruit profile makes these wines so enchanting and enjoyable to drink. These are some of the first ‘serious’ wines that captured my attention as a budding new wine geek that still delight me the same way today.
The winery manages 150 hectares, 2/3 their own vines mainly planted with Tempranillo but also with a dollop of Graciano and Garnacha. They are essentially ‘vinos de viñas viejas’ or old vines wines (35 – 50yrs). Roda’s viticulture is organic, with biological controls taking care of pests, tiny yields with all wines hand-picked several times over by Roda’s own, dedicated picking team.
The wines are technically Riserva wines and are label as such but never seem to have the flat fruit or oxidised elements that many ‘old school’ Rioja can. Over time, the period spent in oak (for Roda and Roda 1) has come down from 18-20 months in earlier years, to 14-15 nowadays with barrels 40% new and the balance in 1yo.
I was recently invited to a lunch (pre-covid) of the latest release Roda’s along with a selection of back vintage wines direct from the cellar. Again I was completely enamoured at the ability of these wines to maintain their youthfull fruit profiles and vibrant palates for a decade or more with ease. At any point in the lifetime of these wines you would have no hesitation to pull the cork and be more then pleasantly rewarded.
Reviews are below and includes the Roda and Roda 1 as well as the ‘young vines’ Sela. Again these are another excellent set of releases from Roda which continue to tweak and hone their craft.