29-07-2018

Bodegas Roda – Sela 2015

I’ve been following the evolution of this Sela from Bodegas Roda for some time now and you can read up what I wrote about the 2013 and 2014 vintages. For anyone unfamiliar with the winery, it was established just over 30 years ago in the Barrio de la Estación that forms Ground Zero of classic, emblematic Riojan wines in the town of Haro.

It’s a curiosity really as the 2013 was quite jubilant and lively whereas 2014 was more compact and closed and the 2015 stays largely on this path. In general, 2015 was a hotter vintage and most Southern European regions are seeing fine wines albeit with lower acidity and a quality of being quite open and ready to drink now. The Sela runs at nearly a complete opposite to this. It’s definitely more open than the 2014 vintage but at the same time, it seems a bit muted as if it’s waiting for something. It doesn’t have that, charged, calm before the storm aspect that many 2016 wines are currently showing so I don’t know how much it will evolve over time.

Despite my nitpicks, it is indeed a fine wine now. Aged for 12 months, I don’t know why they don’t have it certified as Crianza given that it meets the requirements for Rioja–12 months wood, 12 months bottle. Maybe it’s just because they don’t much see the reason to bother with such a trivial and very much antiquated system of declaring wine quality although for their Roda & Roda I they do apply the “Reserva” categorization to the label, so beats me.

You should also note that in comparing blends, this is the one that has the lowest amount of Tempranillo to date as it’s been declining year after year from the 98% found in the 2013. I can only assume that the higher degree of Grenache is what’s giving a bit more pep and punch above what’s been seen in previous vintages and perhaps there’s a more signature flavor profile that they’re chasing eventually. We’ll have to see where we arrive next year when the 2016s come to market.

Sela 2015
Young strawberry and red cherry, vanilla and dill spice, black pepper, very light barrel touch. More forest berry fruit on the palate, drifts more to dark fruits, touch hotter and fruitier, medium acidity driving it with medium plus tannins, quite well integrated with good overall length despite the alcohol sticking a bit in the finish.
82% Tempranillo, 10% Grenache, 8% Graciano 14% 16€
** 89