Bodegas Artuke Finca de los Locos Rioja 2018
A bright, vibrant style of Rioja that is focussed on the quality of the fruit rather than long barrique ageing. Tempranillo with 20% Graciano, matured for 1 year in 500 and 600 litre barrels and two 3,500 litre foudres. Packed with dark and red berry fruit, hints of balsamic herbs and wildflowers. Generous on the palate but well defined with lovely acidity. Scores 93+ points with Luis Guiterrez (Robert Parker’s Spain man).
80% Tempranillo/20% Graciano
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.