A new single vineyard on rocky, clay soils planted up in the mountains at 720m altitude; the highest vineyard in the range. The site comprises a combination of vines planted in 1990 and others, in fact the majority, planted as recently as 2013 and single staked to anchor the vines against the wind. Proof that stellar terroir can trump vine age. The elevation here adds a more floral component and offsets the richness of fruit. Where this cuvee can be a little wilder, the 2020 exhibits beautiful lavender and violet notes, plummy sweet berries and a really refined ripe quality of tannin. Lots to like here. Aged entirely in large 3500L oak vat for a year.
Based in the small village of Banos de Ebro in Rioja Alavesa, brothers Arturo and Kike de Miguel (the name Artuke being a combination of the two) are inspired by the wines of Burgundy and the Artuke range comprise some of the most detailed, elegant Riojas we have ever come across. A real name in Spain’s “New Wave” movement, they are a founder member of the new "Futoro Vinador" association in Spain, and advocate for Riojas bottled along regional, village and single vineyard lines as opposed to the traditional Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva classifications that define quality according to time spent in barrel. Fermentations take place in stainless steel and concrete tanks in a gentle, static style that avoids over-extraction. After fermentation, the wines transfer to top quality, neutral French oak in sizes that range from 500L demi-muids to 3,500L foudres. Arturo and Kike prefer to limit racking and use lightly reductive techniques to their advantage, a practice that reduces the need to add sulphur and underscores the purity and transparency of fruit. Maturation in cask is short by Riojan standards; just twelve to sixteen months depending on the cuvee, less for the juicy, entry-level “Artuke” Rioja – a regional, fruity semi-carbonic wine that spends just six months in concrete. All wines apart from the “Artuke” Rioja are completely destemmed. Pies Negros is a blend of three vineyards in Avalos, abutting the Sierra de Cantabria, Finca de los Locos is a 2.80 hectare single vineyard at 550m in Banos de Ebro and Paso Las Manas is a single vineyard planted at 720m in the village of Samaniego, part of the Sierra de Cantabria. El Escolladero and La Condenada are the top wines of the estate and are every inch the Grand Crus. Production rarely exceeds 1k bottles of each.