“Pigeage” is a French term meaning stirring or gentle manual shaking of grape juice solid parts that float on the top of the tank. It is usually made with a stainless steel instrument or stick, the end of which has a flat part, so that when pressed down, it covers solid fractions with juice or wine. This delicate practice allows the extraction to be slow and to avoid herbaceous notes dominating in the wine taste. This way fruit and expression allows to better identify the variety, in which, like in Graciano, it is necessary to highlight its slight balsamic notes, eucalyptus or laurel type, besides the fruit expression that with Graciano evokes blue fruits like cranberries.
Altos de Rioja Graciano Pigeage is the winery “cum laude”. The grapes come from vineyards over 40 years of age. It is manually harvested, and after a careful selection of clusters, the grapes have their stems removed and is poured into small 2,000-litre deposits. The product is subjected to a 4-day pre-fermentative cold maceration at 8°C, after which it undergoes alcoholic fermentation with rigorous temperature controls between 25-30°C. During this period and from the very first day, stirring is carried out 3 times per day for the grape juice to contact with the skins in a delicate way without abrupt skins damage. The malolactic fermentation is performed in new 85% French and 20% American oak barrels, both selected from the best barrels. During this period, the lees are periodically suspended by “batonage” technique, aging for 15 months in oak with periodic stirring every 5 months. The result is the combination of new oak creamy toasted notes and Graciano fruity complexity. Without a doubt, it is a wine of a different taste to Tempranillo, which is dominant in all wines of this winery.