Bodegas Artuke la Condenada Rioja 2018
A wine made with Tempranillo, Grenache Tinta, Graciano and Palomino grapes, from an old vineyard planted in 1920 in sandy soils with a sandstone subsoil, at an altitude of 520 meters.
They are harvested by hand and placed in 20 kg boxes. Once in the cellar, they pass over the selection table and are destemmed and selected by hand, berry by berry. Vatting is performed by gravity into a small 2000 liter tank, where it ferments and pigeage is carried out daily. The malolactic fermentation takes place in 500 liter French oak barrels. This wine is aged in 600-litre French oak foudres for 14 months.
Complex and layered with dark and red fruit and balsamic notes. Round, generous tannins and savoury, earthy complexity with an extraordinatily long finish. Just 1,000 bottles produced.
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.