2018 Bodegas y Viñedos Artuke
Unwooded, joyful Rioja - as drunk by the locals - but sadly rarely seen outside of the region. An element of this juice is fermented under carbonic maceration - like the Gamays of Beaujolais and the results are spectacular. Deep, bright purple-edged and glossy in the glass, such a soft, 'real juice' feel - another brilliant wine for this cuvée which is so different from all those brown, oaky and flatly oxidised styles. This has purity vim and vigour and is a wine that gives pure pleasure. L&S (Dec 2018)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
This hit the bullseye at the autumn tasting of The Bunch, of which august group of independent merchants L&S is a member. A blend of 95 per cent (red) Tempranillo and 5 per cent (white) Viura, it sees no oak at all and is as fresh and lively a red as you’ll find, far removed from the sweet, mellow Riojas of old and closer indeed to fine cru Beaujolais. It’s joyously quaffable.Jonathan Ray - The Spectator(Oct 2019)
The eponymous 2018 Artuke is a carbonic maceration red from a generous crop, mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Viura from vineyards in the village of Baños de Ebro. It was kept in concrete for three to six months before bottling, as there are up to six bottlings. 2018 was a challenging year with high humidity and issues with mildew that, in a way, limited the crops and helped to balance the yields. The key here was good weather during the harvest in October. They started harvesting on October 4th and finished on the 29th (with Paso Las Mañas). It's aromatic, with good ripeness and a juicy personality. There are notes of licorice and blueberries rather than red fruit, and it's nicely textured. Very good value. 70,000 bottles produced. Drinking range: 2019 - 2022 Rating: 90-90 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com(Jun 2019)
I spotted Artuke last year and it has further raised it game in the 2018 vintage. Bursting with fruit, this is a delicious, modern Rioja with masses damson-soaked energy and a lick of cinnamon spice. It’s a perfect match for the Beef fillet tournedos.Matthew Jukes, The Daily Mail(Jun 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 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.
If you thought all Rioja was much the same - think again. This case will take you on a tour of the exciting, evolving landscape here. From the bigger, more traditional mellowness of Ruconia’s Reserva with its long barrel ageing, via the light bright and crisp elegance of Sandra Bravo's high altitude Sierra do Tolono, to the more exuberant full on fruit led style of the Artuke wines, this selection encompasses so much of what is exciting and tasty about Rioja.
Rioja - it may have been around for years, but it's bang up to date.
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