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New Producer - Bodegas Artuke
28 August 2019

We are delighted to introduce Bodegas Artuke, a new addition to the Justerini & Brooks Spain portfolio, and one of Rioja’s most ambitious and highly regarded projects. Located in the small village of Banos de Ebro in Rioja Alavesa, brothers Arturo and Kike Blanco (the name Artuke is a combination of the two) are dedicated entirely to unlocking Rioja’s unbelievable local terroir. Taking over the family estate completely has been a gradual process and the range has undergone various changes over the past five years. Their clear, modern vision, though, was realised fully as of 2017 – the sort of complicated vintage that separates the wheat from the chaff. The Artuke project is now firmly in Rioja’s very top tier.

Inspired by Burgundy, the wines are some of the most detailed, elegant Riojas we’ve encountered. That they do not engage with the traditional Rioja DO classification is neither here nor there, for the decision to eschew the Riojan hierarchy of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva was agreed upon early on. For Arturo and Kike, quality is not defined by length of time in barrel or concentration, but instead by the soils and the health of the vineyard. They therefore embrace the Burgundian model of regional, village and single vineyard wines. Cellar work is simple and hands-off. Fermentations take place in stainless steel and concrete using wild yeasts. Aging takes place in top quality, neutral French oak barrels ranging from 500L to 3,500L in size, for just twelve to sixteen months depending on the wine. Favouring a neutral, static style of winemaking, reduction is used to limit the need for sulphur additions; a practice that they believe safeguards purity, energy and complexity in the finished wines.

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