Bodegas Artuke el Escolladero Rioja 2018
A 0.95 hectare single site in Avalos, planted in 1950 at 660m. Close to the mountains. A blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Graciano from limestone driven soils. The 2018 has great minerality, with plenty of ripe forest fruit, clear, fine tannins and a very long finish.
Grapes are selected and destemmed manually. They are then racked in 2,000 kg micro tanks, where they undergo cap plunges and pump overs every day. Once the spontaneous alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts has finished, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in 600-litre French oak barrels. It then ages there for between 12 and 16 months before bottling
We once asked Arturo Blanco what the philosophy at Bodegas Artuke was and he simply replied ‘we are farmers’. The approach here is 100% focused on interpreting the family’s 32 plots which are split between the villages of Baños de Ebro and Ábalos in Rioja Alavesa. Biodynamic techniques are employed in the vineyards and Arturo and Kike are also busy recovering old, ignored plots of ancient vines. Vinification is aimed at expressing the characteristics of the vineyard and quality of fruit above all else. As such, the ﬁrst two wines in the range are ‘village’ wines from Baños de Ebro and Ábalos respectively, followed by three single vineyard wines. The restrained use of oak and inclination towards different types/sizes of barrel, plus an unwillingness to adhere to the subscribed regimes for classiﬁcation means that Artuke are precluded from using Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva designations on their wines.