Tronco Negro, our white wine obtained from the unique vineyard of the same name, has been rated as the best in its category in a blind tasting organized by the prestigious magazine Dencanter. We tell you everything about this great news in this post.

Decanter’s tasting of unique Rioja vineyards

The prestigious magazine Decanter has carried out a blind tasting of the single vineyard wines of the Rioja Designation of Origin. The magazine invited producers from the region to present up to two wines included within this category. Of the 48 participants, three obtained the grade of outstanding; Tronco Negro being the highest rated white of all with 95 points.

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Decanter tasting panel on Tronco Negro

Decanter prepared a detailed tasting panel for each of the wines and this is what they published about Tronco Negro: “One of several single vineyard wines made by the Valdelana family in Elciego. A complex and unique blend of viura and other varieties white coming from a vineyard planted in 1935. The wine undergoes carbonic maceration and remains in contact with the skins until the end of fermentation. Then it spends a year in barrel on its lees.”

Juan Valdelana vendimiando el viñedo singular Tronco Negro - Elciego (Rioja Alavesa)

The tasters’ notes of our white wine

The wine was tasted by Beth Willard, Matthew Foster and Pierre Mansour, three prominent personalities in the world of wine and contributors to Decanter magazine. These were his words about Tronco Negro:

  • Beth Willard: very fresh aromas of cut grass, wild fennel, mint and mountain herbs. The palate offers a waxy texture with beautiful layers of lemon curd and quince. Expressive and lively.
  • Matthew Foster MW: elevated aromas of marzipan, with stewed wild apple. Yellow apple with a caramel-rimmed finish. A trace of oxidation that provides complexity.
  • Pierre Mansour: Marked new oak and spiced vanilla. Intense and beautifully structured with discreet fruit. Great guarding power.

Panel de cata en Decanter de Tronco Negro, un vino de viñedo singular de Bodegas Valdelana (Elciego, Rioja Alavesa)

Decanter, one of the most important wine magazines in the world

Decanter has earned the right to be distinguished as one of the great references in the wine press after almost 50 years of existence. Decanter offers the content to more than one hundred countries and estimates its reach at more than two million impacts monthly between its print and digital channels.

Judit y Juan en el viñedo singular Santa Cruz de Bodegas Valdelana (Elciego, Rioja Alavesa)

A recognition of the singular vineyards of Juan Valdelana

It’s important to understand well what unique vineyards are for understanding the magnitude of this recognition. Although we talk about them in this article, it should be noted that, since 2017, the Rioja Denomination of Origin includes more specific information on the origin of the wine on the labels and distinguishes those that have been obtained from unique vineyards. It has to meet some requirements such as being more than 35 years old, the harvest being manual and the production being very limited for a vineyard to be categorized as singular. Juan Valdelana has been interested in this type of vineyard for years and with eleven owned has made us the winery with the most unique vineyards in the DOCa Rioja.

Tronco Negro, one of the unique vineyards of Bodegas Valdelana

Juan is producing wines from seven of those eleven plots, among which is Tronco Negro. This vineyard from 1935 is located near Elciego and has been nicknamed that way because a fungus of the same name is found there, a very rare, dark mushroom that is toxic raw, but can be eaten if subjected to long cooking processes. From there we mainly obtain viura, which is harvested manually and used to make this wine using the traditional carbonic maceration system. This wine also has a year of aging in barrels.

Juan Valdelana en Tronco Negro, uno de los viñedos singulares de Bodegas Valdelana (Elciego, Rioja Alavesa)

Our unique vineyards are in the best restaurants

The very specific conditions of these vineyards and their exploitation mean that the production of these wines is very limited. We must add to this that restaurants such as Celler de Can Roca, Arzak or Martin Berasategui have been interested in these wines since their launch in 2022, so a large part of our production has been destined for their restaurants. Fortunately, we still have a few bottles in our cellar, including Tronco Negro, or you can buy them directly from our online store.

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Tronco Negro, vino de viñedo singular de Bodegas Valdelana - Mejor vino blanco de la categoría para Decanter

This recognition of Tronco Negro as the best white from a single vineyard in the DOCa is another push forward to continue betting on one of the projects that has given us the most joy from the beginning. Thanks to Decanter magazine for the distinction and to all of you for your constant support.

About Bodegas Valdelana

Bodega de vino en la Rioja Alavesa. Desde 1583 haciendo de la familia la esencia de nuestro vino.

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