I was first introduced to Bodegas Sierra Cantabria on a fact finding mission to Rioja for the
our winetasting club at the Faculté d'Oenologie de Bordeaux.
Bodegas Sierra Cantabria is a family owned winery. Guillermo Eguren and his two sons
Marcos (winemaker) and Miguel (administration) and son-in-law, Jesús (commercial) are
responsible for Bodegas Sierra Cantabria which is situated in San Vicente de la Sonsierra about
7 Km southeast of Haro in Rioja Alta.
Unlike most wineries in Rioja, Bodegas Sierra Cantabria own 80% of their production. They
produce a vino joven and a generic Rioja in tinto, blanco and rosado. The ageing wines are
Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. Our favourite is Crianza. Crianza is unfiltered and is
produced from 100% Tempranillo grape. The ageing process lasts one year in tank, 14 months
in american oak barrels and the rest of the time in bottle. Four years from grape to glass is the
time it takes to produce a Crianza.
From the moment you pull the cork on a Crianza from Bodegas Sierra Cantabria you are
overwhelmed by the complexity of the aroma: vanilla and ripe fruit. The bouquet develops
into an elegant mixture of spice and cigar box. On the palate the ripe, concentrated fruit
combines with silky, soft tannins to give a long aromatic finish leaving the mouth clean with
Ask our children which is their favourite white wine and in unison they will say Domaine de Saint
Lannes. Fresh, fruity, crisp and full of flavour with good weight and lasting clean finish,
Domaine de Saint Lannes is no ordinary Côtes de Gascogne. For many years the owner and
winemaker, Michel Duffour has a) acclaimed the merits of low yield, b) allowed the grape juice to
repose 10 days on fine lees, a process known as stabulation, c) has done careful vinification and
temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. In this way the primary aromas
are replaced by more complex aromas which stand the test of time and the notion of « terroir »
is ever present.
The 15 year old vines are located on a sheltered south facing plateau at Lagraulet in the Gers,
in the heart of d'Artagnan country. The soil is clay and limestone, atlantic climate with very
hot summers. Wine varieties are 80% Colombard, 10% Ugni Blanc and 10% Gros Manseng
which gives it that special zing.