FINCA DE LOS LOCOS
2014 Rioja Bodegas y Viñedos Artuke
Flavours of aniseed with a toasty enhancement are intertwined with a wonderful dusty complexity and peppery finish. Drinking range: 2017 - 2023 Rating: 89 L&S (Jan 2017)
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Bodegas y Viñedos Artuke
These wines from Rioja are rooted firmly in their terroir. Artuke is all about small scale, biodynamic production: twenty two hectares of vines spread over thirty two plots between the stunning, hilly villages of Baños de Ebro and Abalos on the upper terrace of the river Ebro in La Rioja Alta, Northern Spain. Artuke is run by the family of Miguel Blanco, who have been working the land in this Northern part of Rioja Alavesa for over a century. Now, the helm is taken by Miguel's two sons Arturo and Kike which as you might guess, is where the name 'Artuke' is derived from. The aim of the brothers has been this: To create a new and individual wine which still respects the history of the wine region and of their family wine tradition. The result: A thoroughly modern style of Rioja, but not heavily extracted or heavily wooded in style.
A very smart wine! Rioja with a real sense of place, the limestone giving a wine with energy and drive, a hint of oak feels tight-grained and emphasises the long linear feel to this classic wine. Already extremely impressive, this will gain with more bottle age. Arturo and Kike's father may have been thought mad to buy this vineyard (hence the name), but his faith in it is fully demonstrated in this wine. Drinking range: 2016 - 2025 L&S (Mar 2016)
Very ripe and modern showing plentiful aromas and great depth, dark ripe plums, ripe cherries, cranberry jam, toasted oak, green leaves and a touch of spice. Very consistent and balanced on the palate, with generous sweet fruit and fleshy ripe tannins. Superb texture and rich fruit. The wine is more physical than elegant but is really terrific. Where does this surprising savoury fruit come from? Unusual richness for a rioja. Drinking range: 2017 - 2025 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Feb 2017)
The 2014 Finca de Los Locos comes from a single 2.8-hectare vineyard in the village of Baños de Ebro, where the winery is located. The vineyard, which was purchased by the grandfather of the current generation, is a terraced vineyard overlooking the Ebro River on a gravel soils. It's Tempranillo with some 20% Graciano with a clear herbal twist with a chalky, somehow minty character that made me think of a cooler climate red; it somehow transported me to Chinon, but with the faint balsamic aromas of some Mediterranean herbs. The palate shows really chalky tannins, very mineral, somehow austere, with character and an elegant rusticity. There is some 22-24% active limestone in the soil of the vineyard, and that clearly shows in the wine. This is a superb improvement, where the wine shows the character of the place. It should age nicely. Some 8,500 bottles produced. Rating: 92 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Aug 2016)
Made from a single plot located on a high terrace overlooking the Ebro river in Baños de Ebro, with a sandy, gritty soil over a very chalky limestone subsoil where planting vines was not very common (which is why our grandfather was regarded as «crazy» for buying it). Moderately Atlantic climate. Traditional destemmed grape fermentation. Vines planted in 1981. 80% Tempranillo and 20% Graciano, on sand and gravel with a hard limestone subsoil at 550 metres above sea level. Drinking range: 2016 - 2025 Winemaker's notes (Mar 2016)
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