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ELABORATION
Biological growth under Flower Veil

Biological growth under Flower Veil
What is know as "crianza bajo velo" (aging under veil) or "en flor" is a genuinely Spanish wines making method, used for aging our "vinos generosos".

The velo (veil) or flor is a layer of living yeasts that forms on the surface of the wine in the barrel. These living organisms play a major role in defining the character of our Spanish wines. The process is extremely complex and delicate, and makes such wines more sensitive to variations in the climate than any other.

The finest grape musts, those which promise the most delicate aromas, are selected to make the "vinos generosos". For the floating cap of yeast to develop, it is crucial that the wines reach an alcohol content of 15 percent. This high level of alcohol of our Spanish wines is obtained naturally in our Montilla-Moriles Denomination of Origin (D.O.), thanks to the very high sugar content of our local grape, the Pedro Ximénez. Elsewhere, Jerez and the Condado de Huelva for example, the winemaker must resort to fortifying the wine with grapes spirits to reach the desired alcohol level.

Aging

Aging
The resulting blend is aged in American oak botas (butts), large barrels holding 500-550 liters each. We take special care that the butts are made of well seasoned, old wood. They are filled to five sixths, leaving a pocket of air to allow the yeast to develop on the exposed surface of the wine.

The yeasts start to appear within a few days, eventually forming a floating layer around two centimeters (three quarters of an inch) thick, its colour varying between cream white to a light toasted hue.

The aromas of wines and character are completely transformed, for the yeasts seal the wine off from air and ferment an y sugar remaining in the must, resulting in what are the driest Spanish wines and in the world.

This painstaking process culminates with the ingenious aging method of franctional blending know as the solera and criadera system.

Solera and criadera

Solera and criadera
With the solera system there are no single vintages. The wines resulting from each harvest are blended with the previous vintages until they result in a wines of consistent quality.

This method for Spanish wines calls for several rows of botas (butts). The bottom row of butts is the solera (because it is close to the "suelo", the cellar floor, which contains the oldest blend. The row immediately above is know as the first criadera (nursery), and above that are the second, third,and fourth criaderas, and often there are more.

The wine destined for bottling is taken from the solera. Only a small portion of the butt´s content is drawn off (about third a year, taken in two sesions) so we ensure that the basic structure of the remainig wine is intact.

This process for Spanish wines is called the saca. The wine is homogenized in a tank, then clarified, filtered, and bottled.

Meanwhile, the solera butts are topped off with the blend from the first criadera, which in turn is topped off with the younger blend from the second criadera, and so on to the top row, which is filled with the most recent wines, from another row of casks called sobretablas.

This method, ideal for ensuring a final product of uniform quality, is used for most Spanish wines generous "vinos generosos", both those aged under veil of yeast (finos) and those which undergo an oxidate aging (oloroso, palo cortado, cream, sweet wines), as well as amontillado, a wine which combines the two methods.
Finos

The Finos have a minimun aging of three years and we usually make use of up to four "criaderas". When the Fino wines begin to lose the "flower" that has permitted the biological aging "under veil" for three years, a new, aerobic aging process can be added to convert them first into Finos Amontillados and then into Amontillados.

Straw- or golden-Colored, a sharp but delicate (almondish) aroma, dry and light to the palate and an alcohol content of around 15º.

"Delicate" is not just an idle descriptive:these wine should never be bottled. But bottled they must be, so the trick is to drink them as soon after bottling as possible, ideally within seven or eight months.

They should be served chilled but not freezing, and they should be consumed once the bottle is opened. Half bottle makes a lot of sense.

BODEGAS ROBLES has a wide variety of Finos ranging from our FINO COPEO, FINO PATACHULA, FINO ROBLES SELECCION, DRY SELECCION DE ROBLES and FINITO 12.
Olorosos

The Oloroso wines are aged in direct contact with the air (aerobic aging), following a physical-chemical proccess that prevents the growth of the typical "veil" of Finos wines.

This is an initially dry, amber-to-mahogancy-colored, with a pronounced aroma as its name, "oloroso" (fragant), would indicate. It has a full body ("nuez", or nut) and its alcohol content is around 17º.

Olorosos are always served at room temperature.

ABUELO PEPE and OLOROSO ROBLES SELECCIÓN, are two outstanding examples of our Oloroso wines.
Amontillados

Amontillado is one of the most complex and characterful wines in the world, the result of an intricate process. Amontillado starts undergoing an initial aging process under a layer of flor yeast. But at a carefully-timed moment, the alcohol level of the wine is increased to 18 percent. As a consequence, the flor dies off and the wine continues to age under and oxidative process, exposed to air, as for an oloroso. In addition, the wine is blended following the solera and criadera method. Thorought the process, the aging wine is still referred to as "mosto" (must) until it reaches its full maturity: that is, once it has run through the entire gamunt of criaderas to reach the solera.

Amber-colored, with a sharp but subtle (hazelnut-like) aroma. Smooth and light to the palate. Its alcohol content is around 17º.

There are two schools of thought on the proper temperature for Amontillado. One prefers cellar temperature or cooler, while the other belives that serving the wines at room temperature opens them up. One rule to follow could be to drop the temperature according to the richness of the wine.

SUBLIME AMONTILLADO is an outstanding example of this typical Andalusian wine.
Palo Cortado

Those wines that are quite clean to the nose, so as to be similar to the Amontillados, while having the thickness associated with the Oloroso to the palate, are designated as "Palo Cortado". Its name, which means crossed stick, refers to the chalk mark that the cellar master inscribes on the barrel to indicate its developement. They also follow an oxidative aging process, such as a Oloroso, so we can say it is a particular type of Oloroso.

This is a wine of a bright mahogany color, almond-like aroma, dry palate, balanced. elegant and very persistent.

As for their serving temperature, apply the same as the Amontillado. Some people prefers cellar temperature or cooler, other people belive that room temperature helps to open them up and we recommend to drop the temperature according to the richness of the wine.

ROBLES PALO CORTADO is a good illustration of this type of wine.
Pedro Ximénez

Pedro Ximénez is one of the most original wines in the world. A soldier in Spanish army names it after the grape variety originally grown, it is said, from cutting of wines from Rhine brought to Andalusia centuries ago.

The grape bunches are spread out in the sun on the "paseros" (esparto matts). Every day the bunches are carefully turned to ensure an even toasting in the hot southern Spanish sun, until they are practically raisins. The aim is to reduce the liquid content of the grape, so that the resulting must will contain more than 300 grams of sugar per liter. When the grapes reach the desired degree of sweetness, they are crushed and, before fermentation starts, fortified to nine percent alcohol.

The resulting wine is called vino tierno, tender wine. Next, the alcohol level is increased progressively to 16-18 percent and the wine is matured following the solera and criadera system.

A dark mahogany-colored wine, with deep raisiny aromas. Smooth and sweet in the mouth. Full, vigorous, and perfectly balanced. Its alcohol content is around 15º.

A magnificient example of this wine is PEDRO XIMÉNEZ SOLERA FUNDACIONAL, honoured by the Golden Bacchus award in 1999. The Bacchus award is the most prestigious Spanish award in the wine industry and a worldwide recognize contest where every year compite wines from the most reputated wineries from all over the world.

PEDRO XIMÉNEZ SELECCIÓN DE ROBLES 1927, PEDRO XIMÉNEZ ROBLES and PEDRO XIMÉNEZ DE AÑADA are other worldwide recognized Pedro Ximénez wines.

Also, PIEDRA LUENGA PEDRO XIMÉNEZ, our organic Pedro Ximénez.
Cream

A sweet wine, made from Oloroso, dark-colored. It has a sharp but subtle aroma and a full body. Its alcohol content is around 16º.

CREAM COPEO, CREAM PATACHULA and CREAM ROBLES SELECCION make up our range of this type of wine.
Pale Cream

It results when you take Fino (dry wine) and sweeten it. This is done according to our tradition: by mixing in a measure of Pedro Ximénez, a naturally sweet wine. As a result, Pale Cream is a sweet wine with a pale golden colour. This wine has the clean fresh characteristic of a Fino but with teh smooth sweetness of Cream. It can be drunk chilled or at room temperature as an aperitif.

PALE CREAM COPEO, PALE CREAM PATACHULA and PALE CREAM ROBLES SELECCIÓN are three greats examples of this type of wine.

Also PIEDRA LUENGA PALE CREAM, our organic Pale Cream.
Medium Dry

A blend of dry old Amontillado sherry with the sweet Pedro Ximénez. The wine has a rich nutty flavour but is drier than Cream. Served at room temperature, it is a favourite aperitif. Its alcohol content is around 16º.

MEDIUM DRY ROBLES COPEO is an excellent example of Medium Dry.
Organic

These are a wines made from organically grown grapes. In order for a vineyard to be classed as organic, we must be able to prove which vineyard the grapes came from, then the CAAE (Spanish officially recognized body) certified the vineyard as organic, and from what date certified organic practices began.

Such growing methods used by our parents and grandparents give precisely what fine winemakers seek: smaller harvests of high quality grapes expressing the full character of the wine´s variety without the muddied aromas or taste of residual chemicals.

Piedra Luenga White
The use of a single variety of grape, 100% Chenin Blanc, from the chalky clay soils of Moriles Alto, confers it with fineness, colour, subtlety and special smoothness. It is fermented at 10 gradees, in order to reach a sharp but subtle acidity by natural means.

Piedra Luenga Fino
The Finos usually make use of up to four "criaderas". When the Fino wines begin to lose the "flower" that has permitted the biological aging "under veil" for three years, a new, aerobic aging process can be added to convert them first into Finos Amontillados and then into Amontillados.

Straw- or golden-Colored, a sharp but delicate (almondish) aroma, dry and light to the palate and an alcohol content of around 12º.

"Delicate" is not just an idle descriptive:these wine should never be bottled. But bottled they must be, so the trick is to drink them as soon after bottling as possible, ideally within seven or eight months.

Piedra Luenga Red
Extra care taken to select only the healthiest bunches of ripe grapes, hand picked at optimum maturity. After fermentation, the wine spent a period of five mounths resting in its barrels of American oak, which endowed it with its singular character. The qualities of this superb wine are best appreciated at 16º to 18ºC.

Piedra Luenga Pale Cream
It results when you take Fino (dry wine) and sweeten it. This is done according to our tradition: by mixing in a measure of Pedro Ximénez, a naturally sweet wine. As a result, Pale Cream is a sweet wine with a pale golden colour. This wine has the clean fresh characteristic of a Fino but with the smooth sweetness of the Cream. It can be drunk chilled or at room temperature as an aperitif.

Pedro Luenga Pedro Ximénez
The grape bunches are spread out in the sun on the "paseros" (esparto matts). Every day the bunches are carefully turned to ensure an even toasting in the hot southern Spanish sun, until they are practically raisins. The aim is to reduce the liquid content of the grape, so that the resulting must will contain more than 300 grams of sugar per liter. When the grapes reach the desired degree of sweetness, they are crushed and, before fermentation starts, fortified to nine percent alcohol.

The resulting wine is called vino tierno, tender wine. Next, the alcohol level is increased progressively to 15 percent and the wine is matured following the solera and criadera system.
Cumbia

CUMBIA is an excepcional drink in Europe, developed by our winemaking team in colloboration with the Higher Technical School of Agronomic Engineers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid after an 8 years research.

We buy our tropical fruits from the Colombian farmers, mix them with Pedro Ximénez grapes (tradicional variety in Andalusia), and the ferment all together (85% Pedro Ximénez, 15% tropical fruits). We have developed a technique that allow ferment both tropical fruits and Pedro Ximénez grapes all together by natural means.

Pale, bright and yellow colour, with fresh aromas of tropical fruits, integrated and refreshing acidity. Its alcohol content is around 10,5º.
Red

Extra care taken to select only the healthiest bunches of ripe grapes, hand picked at optimum maturity. After fermentation, the wine spent a period of five mounths resting in barrels of American oak, for vintage or stainless deposit for current year, which endowed it with its singular character. The qualities of this superb wine are best appreciated at 16º to 18ºC.
Others

Castillo de Montilla
The use of a single variety of grape, 100% Chenin Blanc, from the chalky clay soils of Moriles Alto, confers it with fineness, colour, subtlety and a special smoothness. It is fermented at 10 degrees, in barrels for Castillo de Montilla de Barrica, in order to reach a sharp but subtle acidity by natural means.

Moscatel
The grapes are crushed and pressed to extrait the must, sedementation is static. Fermentation takes place at 20ºC. It is sweetened to 9 on the Be scale. It reaches 15% in alcohol volume.

Sangría
It is a typical Spanish drink made with red wine, sugar and lemmon juice.
Organic Wines - Bodegas Robles© - Ctra. Córdoba-Málaga, N-331, Km.47, Apartado de Correos, 55. 14550 Montilla CÓRDOBA (ESPAÑA)
Telf: +34 957 650 063, Fax: +34 957 653 140
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