Ramón Bilbao unveils new range of single vineyard Lalomba wines

Ramón Bilbao has unveiled a collection of high-quality, single vineyard wines in order to showcase some of the best terroirs from across the Rioja region.

The wines are produced at a separate winery called Lalomba, located next to the Ramón Bilbao estate on the outskirts of Haro.

The project is designed to highlight the “hidden jewels” located among Ramón Bilbao’s 203 hectates under vine.

Lalomba, which means slope in Spanish, serves as the umbrella brand. The labels then highlight the small vineyard plots on which the grapes were grown: Valhonta in Villalba de Rioja; Aguilones in San Asensio; and Ladero and Lalinde at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range.

Vineyards with singular profiles are fermented and aged separately, and if they eventually exhibit distinctive features they are allocated to Lalomba.

Ramón Bilbao has previously released several vintages of premium rosé under the Lalomba brand. The rosé is made from Garnacha and around 10% Viura, and the result is a pale, Provençal style wine that displays elegance and vibrant acidity.

Lalomba Rosada was initially released with an rrp of €26. Wine writer Jancis Robinson MW said that was an “audacious” move, but decided the wine was well worth the price tag, as it was “sophisticated, authentic and full of flavour”.

The rosé has now been repackaged, and the label now highlights the specific vineyard responsible for the grapes: Finca Lalinde.

Lalomba Finca Lalinde 2019 Rosado now sits alongside two red wines in a new single vineyard Lalomba range.

The new Lalomba Finca Valhonta 2017 is made from 100% bush vine Tempranillo grown 650 metres above sea level on chalk-clay terraces. Lalomba Finca Ladero 2016 is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, grown at an altitude of 720 metres.

Both of these red wines have a target rrp of £100. The UK is a key target market, and Enotria & Coe is the distributor.

There was a focus on sustainable viticulture, biological treatments and hand harvesting during the production process. The wines benefit the use of concrete vessels in the fermentation and ageing process, which saves energy, promotes oxygenation and results in a purer and fresher wine than traditional ageing vessels.

Rosana Lisa and Alberto Saldon have dedicated the last five years of their lives to steering the Lalomba project. They likened Lalomba to a Formula 1 car, with a team of technicians working hard on perfecting it, and then to “our grand cru”, designed to elevate the overall perception of the quality that Spain can produce.

They gave Drinks International a Zoom tasting of the wines, and Saldon said: “It’s a special day. It’s the first day of our new baby. We are now releasing to the market.

“We have worked hard, step-by-step, and learned a lot about the vineyards, the viticulture, the winemaking process – especially with the concrete – and now we can share our passion for these wines.”

Lisa spoke at length about the importance of using concrete in the fermentation and ageing process, as it is designed to yield more balanced wines with finer tannins that are approachable at a younger age.

Rodolfo Bastida, general manager of Ramón Bilbao group, added: “We have been working on this project for more than 10 years. We are trying to produce very special wines. This is a very important release for us. We selected three special vineyard plots covering approximately 10ha.

“We have grown and processed single vineyard wines to highlight the special characteristics of the vineyards. The project is all about purity, identity, a special winemaking process different to Ramon Bilbao, and trying to focus all the knowledge and research we have. We have created three great wines with personality and purity. Rosana and Alberto have focused completely on the project with their team.”