Born as a cooperative in 1972 in San Esteban de Gormaz (Soria), this winery was part of the small group of founding members of the DO Ribera del Duero. In 2004, it was acquired by entrepreneur Juan Rivero and became part of Hispanobodegas, his wine business division.
Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz owns 5Ha of very old vines, but grapes are mostly sourced from former cooperative members. The winery handles 230Ha out of over 1,000Ha grown in the province of Soria within the boundaries of Ribera del Duero.
Located in the eastern end of the appellation, Soria has a strong continental influence with vineyards grown at 845 to 960 meters above sea level, making it one of the coldest areas in Ribera del Duero. A significative amount of ungrafted Tempranillo old vines have been preserved in the region’s sandy soils including some pre-phylloxera vines. The average age of vines is 65-years-old, but 70% of them is aged over 80.
The winery buys grapes from 140 growers based in 26 different villages; rather than making a living with wine, most of them take care of their vines during the weekend. Small, widely dispersed holdings are the norm here -Gormaz works with 1,000 plots. Soil diversity is significant, although the subsoil in most vineyards is limestone rock that prevents roots from digging deeper layers.
The balance between anthocyanins and tannins is important at Viñedos y Bodegas Gormaz so extraction levels are kept under control. Grapes are cold-macerated for 2-3 days at 4-5º C. If the fine lees are capable of adding character to the wines vatting may be extended for five to six days. The use of concrete tanks and micro-oxygenation to soften tannins are standard practices at the group.
Production stands at around 400,000 bottles, although the winery is capable of producing one million litres. 12 Linajes is the flagship brand. There is a Roble (just over 100,000 bottles, five months in American oak, €8.5 in Spain), a Crianza (about 50,000 bottles, 14 months in French and American oak, €12) and a Reserva (24 months in mostly French oak, around 50,000 bottles, €20). Grapes for the Roble and the Crianza are sourced from 60+-year-old vines, whereas those destined to the Reserva are over 80 years of age.
There are two new single-vineyard wines. Finca Los Arenales (around 1,700 bottle, €30 in Spain) is evocative and balanced and comes from grapes grown in 11 eleven small plots with pre-phyloxera vines covering 1.7Ha. Meanwhile, 12 Linajes Grano a Grano (€68)is made with grapes destemmed by hand that come from a plot called Quintanilla de Tres Barrios in the Senda de la Estación area.