Artuke, Pies Negros, 2020
Rioja Alavesa DOCa, Rioja, Spain
Artuke is a small winery located in Baños de Ebro, a village in Rioja Alavesa on the banks of the river. In 1991, Roberto de Miguel decided to move away from bulk wine production onto bottled wine. Now his children Arturo and Kike, whose names are the basis of the winery they now lead, are shaping this project, firmly rooted in its surroundings and landscape.
The winery is part of Rioja’n’Roll, a group of young producers who are committed to making singular wines which reflect their origins and terroir. Conscious of their heritage —the brothers carried out a detailed study of the soils in their plots, located in Baños de Ebro, Ábalos, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and later in Samaniego— where they fight to preserve it rather than transform it. That is one of the reasons behind their efforts to work the 25 hectares they own in the old way —no trellis on site; their plants are all bush vines, even the new ones.
This wine is produced with grapes from the Sierra Cantabria in the village of Ábalos, so the 2020 Pies Negros is another village wine, even if it won't get the official qualification, as they don't have a winery in Ábalos. It's a blend of 85% Tempranillo with 15% Graciano that fermented with destemmed but uncrushed grapes with indigenous yeasts and matured in 500-liter oak barrels for 12 months but with 10% of the volume kept in concrete. It has strong aromatics with pungent notes of licorice and ripe fruit without excess. This is 14% alcohol and has nice balance, a soft texture and very fine and grainy tannins.
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