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There are just over 1000 bottles of this made from the small high altitude plot planted over 60 years ago on clay-chalky soils in Ábalos. Formerly known as K4 this is the same blend of Tempranillo (75%) and Graciano (25%). L&S (Dec 2018)
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The 2017 El Escolladero is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Graciano from a vineyard in the village of Ábalos that was planted in 1950 on clay and limestone soils at 660 meters in altitude. It fermented with uncrushed grapes and indigenous yeasts and matured in 600-liter oak barrels for 12 months. This was one of the last plots to be harvested in a very early vintage, around the 20th of September, which is extremely early anyway. Graciano was healthy, and it was a good year for the grape, so perhaps it contributed more to the blend since it yielded better. This is quite different from the wines from the early years when they used new oak. Now, all barrels are first used with the entry-level wines and are later used for the single-vineyard ones. There is no oak whatsoever here, and it has a great combination of power and elegance. The palate is medium-bodied, and the tannins are very fine. Power and elegance. This has to be the finest vintage for this wine and one of the best Artuke has produced. 1,160 bottles were filled in January 2019. This vineyard used to make a wine called K4 in the past. Drinking range: 2019 - 2027 Rating: 95 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Jun 2019)
Previously known as K4, which always sounded like a mountain in the Himalayas, El Escolladero is a 0.95-hectare parcel at 660 metres in Ábalos. The clay-based soils contribute to a wine that is quite compact on the palate, with grip and dark berry fruit leavened by refreshing acidity and top notes of sage, lavender and thyme. 2022-30 Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 97 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Feb 2019)
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 de Miguel 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.
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