Artuke Pies Negros Tempranillo Graciano 2020


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Region: Rioja
Grapes: Tempranillo
First Glance: Fresh, Dark Fruited, Structured

The Wine:

Pies Negros is a reference to the tradition of foot stomping grapes to gently release the first juice, allowing natural yeasts to begin fermenting the wine. It speaks to how this wine is made, but also provides a sly reminder of how rare such small-scale winemaking has become in the Rioja region, where big business and industrial agriculture dominate, and fancy architecture often trumps serious viticulture.

Artuke make this wine from five separate plots, planted on limestone and clay at around 550 metres altitude dotted around the town of Abalos, just to the south of their 'Grand Cru' Escolladero site. It bursts with freshness and lively acidity, with a core of cool blackberry fruit. There's plenty of structure here too, thanks to the proximity of limestone to the top soil in foothills of the Cantabrian mountains which shows the serious, age-worthy Rioja side of Rioja Alavesa, even in the modern-terroist frame.