Urbina Gran Reserva Especial 1995 Rioja is the latest Gran Reserva Especial release. The blue Urbina label signifies that this wine is produced from their older vines (the red labels, like the Crianza, means the wine is made from younger vines). Urbina only designate their wines as “Especial” if they are made in an vintage, like 1995, that is classified as “Excelente” or excellent by the Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja. For example you will also see it on the Urbina Reserva Especial 2001.
Bodegas Urbina is a small, traditional and family-owned Rioja wine estate. This single estate is located in Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron on the north-western boundary of DOC Rioja. Urbina has 75 hectares of vineyards at two main vineyard sites – the first site is at Cuzcurrita de Rio Turon, an area well-known for producing Riojas capable of ageing for many years ideal for Gran Reservas. The other vineyards are located at Uruñuela, in the heart of the Rioja DOC, which consistently produces wines of great quality and body. Four generations of the Urbina family had dedicated themselves to producing Rioja wines and, following in his fathers footsteps, Pedro Urbina is the current wine-maker.
In 1976 the family took the decision to bottle and age all the wine made themselves, rather than selling grapes to other wine producers, and the single estate Urbina Rioja wines were created. Since then Urbina has gone from strength to strength. A new winery was designed and built by the Urbina family at Cuzcurrita in 1986 and there has been a large investment in modern equipment, stainless steel tanks and a bottling plant. Bodegas Urbina produces 400,000 bottles of red Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva and 50,000 bottles of white and rosé wine, all made from grapes sourced from their own vineyards. The vineyards are cultivated using traditional methods, harvesting is by hand and there is little, or no, use of weed killers and pesticides. Additionally all fertilizer used is organic. Only local / indigenous yeasts are used in the wine-making process which help to give Urbina wines their unique personality.
Urbina Gran Reserva Especial 1995 is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. This wine is produced from the best grapes from the Estate vineyards around Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron, all from vines over 20 years. Fermentation takes place at 28C with a 28 day meceration. The wine is aged for 24 months in oak barrels and 48 months in bottle.