El Jardin De La Emperatriz Rioja Tinto, Rioja Alta 2020, Hermanos Hernáiz

ABV: 14.5%
Region: Rioja Alta
Country: Spain
Producer: Finca La Emperatriz

Blend plays the lead in a serious, clean, classic profile red with good entry and fine tannins.


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£17.50 for 12 or more

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SKU: 1304120200 Category:

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Finca La Emperatriz -The Empress’s Estate- is a historic vineyard in Baños de Rioja that once belonged to the last Empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo.

12 km from Haro, nestled between the Sierra de Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda Mountain ranges, Finca La Emperatriz is located at the northwestern end of the Rioja DOC, at 570 m above sea level in one of the highest plateaux in the Rioja Alta.

In 1996, the Hernáiz family purchased that same estate, and brothers Eduardo and Victor Hernáiz took charge of a project to produce quality wines.

Part of the vineyard, the older vines, is officially classified in Rioja as a “Viñedo Singular”, a new system in Rioja since 2017, equivalent to the Cru system in France to identify and protect outstanding pieces of the vineyard. Of just 200 Ha in the whole of Rioja, Finca la Emperatriz accounts for 35 Ha., all in one piece.

The soil of Finca La Emperatriz is unique in La Rioja. A poor, extremely hard soil provides the wines with a distinctive elegance, minerality and great ageing potential.


95% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha, 1% Viura.

Vineyard & Vinification Note

Region D.O.Ca Rioja, Rioja Alta.

Terroir Impressive terroir with a layer of large white pebbles to a depth of about 40 cm, covering a loose, sandy sub-soil. It is an ideal soil to grow vines, as it has excellent drainage and plenty of light and the roots are well placed to receive all the required nutrients. The wines produced from this type of soil are fine and elegant.

Vineyard Trellised vines with an average age of 25 years. With the same type of soil, gravel and pebbles on the surface. At 570 meters altitude.

Yields of 6,000 kg/ha (41,20 hl/ha).

Harvest Hand-harvested between October 6 and 14 in 180 kg boxes.

Winemaking: Indigenous yeasts are used in half of the tanks. FML in steel and concrete tank. The wine was barrelled in spring.

Ageing:15 months in 70% American and 30% French oak barrels.

2020 Harvest: A very difficult year. The winter was mild, which led to an early budding, ten days earlier than usual. At this point, rainfall totalled 245 litres. It was a rainy spring all the way through; almost every week, some rain fell up to 233 litres in total. This made things very complicated, as there were strong attacks of mildew. The challenge is more significant when you work with organic vineyards. During the flowering period, temperatures were low, and constant rain led to a generalised millerandage in all the plots. Many of the flowers in the cluster aborted and did not develop into berries. Bunches dried by mildew and millerandage … at times, everything seemed a disaster.

But the greatness of a vineyard is that many situations that are catastrophic for the quantity become magical to make great wines: vines with little load and very open bunches with small berries. All this added to a dry and hot summer and allowed us to achieve an incredible maturation, resulting in powerful wines but with great finesse.

James Suckling Tasting Note

 Subtle creamy oak to the ripe blue and black berries. Plush, integrated oak here that extends onto the medium-bodied palate with plenty of chocolate to the juicy berries. Tight, grippy and long. Give it two more years to let the oak tannins integrate. 92 Points, September 2023

Wine Advocate Tasting Note

The red 2020 El Jardín de la Emperatriz Tinto was cropped from a year they consider spectacular on their property, when they got small grapes with depth of aromas and flavors. This is the second wine in the Bordeaux sense, and it’s a blend of Tempranillo with 6% Garnacha and 2% Graciano that fermented in stainless steel and matured in American (70%) and French (30%) oak barrels for 12 months. It has 14.3% alcohol, a pH of 3.72 and 5.5 grams of acidity. It has a subtle and serious nose, with berries, herbs and spices in nice harmony. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a dry finish. Modern and clean with integrated oak. 163,000 bottles and 8,000 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2023. Drink Date: 2024 – 2028. 91+ Points, Luis Gutiérrez, February 2024

Food Pairing

A great partner for pork, red pepper dishes, lamb, and tapas.

Additional information

Weight 750 oz





Finca La Emperatriz


Rioja Alta


Still wines, Vegan







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