deAlto Rioja Reserva
Vineyards: Cajón Verde, Graciano Vaso Vieja, Los Poyatos
Varietals: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano
Our Reserva is produced from grapes selected from the older bush vines which yield very small amounts of concentrated yet balanced fruit. Hand harvested at optimum ripeness for each site, they are then transported to the winery in small baskets and unloaded by hand into the winery.
The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed to 10 ton fermenters where the free run juice is drained off and cooled to 5 degree to allow for a cold soak of 7-8 days.
Some of the tanks are inoculated with selected commercial yeast strains as well as a couple which are allowed to utilise the winery's natural yeast flora and ferment on their own. During fermentation the initial ferment is kept cool to allow maximisation of fruit flavours and then allowed to warm up towards the end, giving good extraction of vital tannins as well as giving palate weight.
The wines are kept on skins for a further 12 days after a 15 to 20 day ferment. The resulting wines are gently drained off the skins and gently pressed with press cuts done by taste and divided by taste into tanks and selected barrels.
The barrels are 60% French and 40% American with approximately 35% new and the rest 1 to 2 years. The wine is held in barrel for a minimum of 18 months prior to barrel selection and blending to make the final wine, which is then assembled and bottled for further ageing of 12 months or longer.
The benefit of very careful pre-selection of vineyards and fruit is that we make wines that have a pre-determined objective, wines that, having gone through the desired ageing process, are ready to be drunk, ideally prepared to display all the nuanced, complex fruit that is the hallmark of great Rioja.
Think of succulent, smoky blackberries, subtle hints of grilled meats, vanilla, touches of tobacco. Delicately layered, mouth filling but ultimately pure, long, satisfying.
Jancis Robinson, Financial Times
‘Dreaming of a Red Christmas’, Dec 2018
‘Good old Riojans believe in ageing their wines before selling them. This is so transparent, vivacious and fresh, you could drink it with fish.’
2011 - GOLD Medal IWC