Finca La Emperatriz Gran Vino Rioja Blanco, Rioja Alta 2017 Hermanos Hernáiz

ABV: 14.00%
Region: Rioja Alta
Country: Spain
Producer: Finca La Emperatriz

Made with Viura vines over 60 years old from the estate’s Viñedo Singular. The oak, perfectly integrated, accompanies an expressive wine, with great freshness and a long and persistent finish, with a nod to traditional aged Rioja whites.


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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.


100% 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 50-65 years old bush vines. With the same type of soil, gravel and pebbles on the surface. At 570 meters altitude. Yields of 5,700 kg/ha (37,05 hl/ha).

Harvest Hand-harvested into 180 kg crates on the 19th of September.

Wine-making Grape selection at the sorting table. Six hours of skin maceration. Half of the wine is fermented in a concrete tank, and the other half is fermented in 225-litre barrels.

Four months of lees ageing with very spaced battonage.

Ageing ten months in a concrete tank and eight months in French oak barrels, 1/3 new, 1/3 of second use and 1/3 of third use.

2017 Harvest:

2017 was the Frost Vintage. In Finca La Emperatriz, losses were close to 35%, considering that many late sprouting bunches had to be removed so as not to affect quality.

It was one of the warmest vintages that can be remembered (1,478 IW hours), with a very low rainfall of 381 mm.

It was also the earliest vintage in the 20 years we have worked in the estate’s vineyard. Although everyone will remember this year as catastrophic due to frost, we can say that, thanks to it; there were very low yields that made vines (especially Tempranillo) “work” in optimal conditions without defoliation due to excess heat and drought (which would have led to imperfect maturation).

The few grapes that arrived at the winery did so with many more balanced parameters than those expected due to weather conditions.

Only old vines are used to elaborate this wine.

Wine Advocate Tasting Note

The 2017 Finca la Emperatriz Gran Vino Blanco has a clean nose and a soft palate with integrated acidity and good freshness. It has balsamic notes of bay leaf and chamomile and a sleek mouthfeel with focused and clean flavors and a long and tasty finish. It’s not a showy wine; it has restraint and elegance and is a bit shy right now, but it should develop nicely in bottle. 16,896 bottles and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in April 2019. 93 Points, Luis Gutiérrez, October 2020

James Suckling Tasting Note

Baked peaches, cloves, hazelnuts, dried lemons and white lavender on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with an oily texture. Rich and nutty layers. Nice persistency. Viura. Drink now. 92 Points, October 2021

Tim Atkin: 95 Points

Guia Peñín : 93 Points

Food Pairing

This white Rioja will pair well with Spanish dishes such as paella, tortilla, salt cod, serrano ham. Also great with asparagus, vegetable stew, rich fish such as tuna, roast chicken and pork

Additional information

Weight 750 oz





Finca La Emperatriz


Rioja Alta


Still wines, Vegan







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