From Our Cellar

Arizcuren Rioja Solo Garnacha 2018


Our tasting impressions

A glorious and very interesting expression of Garnacha. Dynamic and pure flavors are vividly framed by outstanding structure and gentle tannins. Garnacha wines aren't always subtle. This is and it changed the way I think about this grape.


About this wine

100% Garnacha from El Pastor vineyard (owned by Javier for 10 years) planted 70-80 years ago at 550 meters and from El Foro planted 40-60 years ago at 600 meters. Total holdings are .6 ha high density plantings in sandy soil with some clay. Yields are about 30 hl/ha.


Grapes are manually harvested early in the morning and partially de-stemmed -some whole bunches are included at the top of the tank. A cold soak maceration takes 2-4 days. Wild yeast fermentation is at a controlled temperature around 25ºC. During fermentation, he sinks the skins at least twice a day to ensure that they are in permanent contact with the must. In this way, a smooth maceration is achieved that enhances the aromas and color and promotes elegant and soft tannins. A brief post-fermentative maceration (2-3 days) precedes malolactic fermentation and subsequent maturation in 500-liter old French oak barrels for around 12 months. Garnacha does not like wood, so never new oak to produce about 2,500 bottles.


About the grape

Garnacha (Spanish for Grenache) is one of the most planted grapes in the world. The grapes are thin-skinned and late-ripening, allowing them to thrive  in a variety of environments. Up until 30 years ago, it was the dominant grape in Rioja Baja - before so much was pulled up in favor of Tempranillo. It can be a workman grape but when planted in well-pedigreed, sandy soil in the proper climate and yields are kept low, it is capable of world class wine production (think Rayas).


About the vintage

2018 was a year of erratic weather conditions. In general, alcohol levels are lower than in recent vintages and the quality was good. Careful vineyard management was key to success.


On your table

Well-suited to rich and bold dishes like braised duck legs.