This juicy Crianza is named ‘black feet’ (Pies Negros) because of the traditional grape treading they still do here at Artuke. Made mostly from Tempranillo with a dash of Graciano, the fruit is from old vines planted in 1920. This is what gives the superior feel and the fantastic intensity and cut to the flavours. It’s certainly an up-to-date take on Rioja and delivers bright, black-cherry fruit and a super cut of red juice that helps keep the flow ebnergetic. It is a crianza but the oak is so subtle and simply softens the feel and adds a ripe, soft feel of tannins as part of the soft, supple mouthfeel. L&S (May 2018)
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The 2016 Pies Negros was already blended, taken out of barrique and was about to be bottled, so the bottled version should be pretty much the same as what I tasted. 2016 reminded them of the vintages from yesteryear, when they started harvesting the 27th of September and finished the 27th of October. This time they kept more wine unoaked, with 17% kept in concrete for one year and the rest matured in 225- and 500-liter oak casks. The blend was the same as in 2015, Tempranillo with 12% Graciano from Ábalos. This was bottled only one week ago; however, the wine is expressive, open and aromatic with good freshness. It has a balanced palate with juicy fruit and refreshing acidity that makes it very drinkable and makes you want to have another sip. This could very well be the finest Pies Negros to date. Drinking range: 2019 - 2023 Rating: 91 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com(Feb 2018)
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.
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