The history of wine production in the Rioja region stretches back to the time of the Phoenicians. It is one of the world great wine regions and home to many famous wineries. It is also home to Sonsierra, the first co-operative producer in Rioja to bottle their own wine, and a long standing Villeneuve favourite.
The members of the co-operative oversea 516 hectares of vineyards, producing only tempranillo, tempranillo blanco and viura, varieties best suited to the deep clay-limestone soil. There is tremendous diversity within these plots as result of micro climates influenced by differences in elevation. Always forward facing, Sonsierra utilise the latest in computer imaging and monitoring technology to ensure grapes are healthy and harvested at the optimal moment each vintage.
At entry level Sonsierra offer the Selección range, young and fresh wines brimming with character and vibrancy. The red in this range is made from 100% trempranillo from Rioja Alta and is unoaked, giving plenty of fresh red fruit notes and a slight licquorice tang. The white, is similarly unoaked and made from 100% viura, delivers crisp apple and pear notes, perfect summer day drinking.
For those seeking a richer wine the Sonsierra Crianza delivers a step up in complexity from the Selección red. This wine has benefited from 12 months ageing in American oak barrel and subsequent period of at least 3 months in bottle. This ageing imparts the flavours traditionally associated with barrel aged Rioja – vanilla, cocoa and coffee, whilst retaining plenty fresh fruit notes. With a longer ageing period of 24 months minimum in bottle, and 12 prior months in American and French oak, the Sonsierra Reserva delivers notes of balsamic, toast and intricate spice structure. Older still is the Sonsierra Gran Reserva which spends 24 months in barrel before a minimum of 36 subsequent months in bottle. This wine possesses showcases real maturity with tawny hues, minty edge and sumptuous vanilla notes.
For those seeking a great value alternative to white Burgundy, the current staff favourite, Sonsierra Fermentado En Barrica, is a rich and complex white with lemon curd notes and soft, buttery mouth feel.
Pushing the boundaries and showcasing Sonsierra’s progressive approach to winemaking, Villeneuve are proud to stock two of Sonsierra’s most intriguing reds. The Pagos de Sonsierra is a reserva level wine make from some of the best old vine tempranillo Rioja produces – intense and complex with fine long lasting tannins. It is no surprise this wine has received a 92 point rating from Wine Spectator. We also stock Sonsierra’s most visually striking wine the Perfume de Sonsierra, another old vine tempranillo which offers an alluring patchwork of dark berry notes that interplay seamlessly with hints of coffee and menthol.