Starting with the 2008 vintage of Ermita San Felices Crianza Rioja, Ermita has adopted a new label to unify their wines. Paying tribute to those who came before him, Roberto Ijalba explained that the new label, with a single stone and surrounding filagree, brings visual consistency to their bottles while honoring his grandparents who were the first in the family to cultivate not just vineyards, but also the culture of wine that set the foundation for his father, Santiago Ijalba.
A classic design for a classic wine, the new label will also appear on the 2007 Ermita San Felices Reserva Rioja Alta; and for the remaining selections, the labels will change with the 2012 vintage, with the filagree in red for the Crianza, in bronze for the Reserva, and in black for the remaining bottles.
A practicing organic winery, Ermita is one of a number of labels produced by the father/son team at Bodega Santalba in the Rioja town of Gimileo. Employing only spontaneous fermentations, Santiago Ijalba is the winemaker behind Ermita, which is a traditional style Rioja, as opposed to Abando, which is made by Roberto using more modern techniques.
Roberto Ijalba of Bodegas Santalba
From vines that are 20-25 years old, and planted to chalky-clay soil, Ermita San Felices Crianza Rioja 2008 is made from 100% Tempranillo that is harvested by hand at an altitude of 450 meters. With nine days of skin maceration, the wine ages for 14 months in American oak, before being bottled and cellared for six months.
A Crianza of great elegance (with a brilliant price point), the Ermita San Felices Crianza Rioja 2008 offers aromas of black cherry fruit, with an earthy palate of silky tannins that frame a lively acidity that carries forth a light, spicy finish.