2014 Artuke "La Condenada" Rioja (Previously $60)

SKU #1289627 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A lot subtler, elegant and balanced than the initial vintage, the 2014 La Condenada showed more precise and subtle with a lot less impact from the élevage. They bought the semi-abandoned vineyard in 2012, when it had not been pruned in two or three years. The vines were planted in 1920 on very sandy soils, with a majority of Tempranillo, but also some 15-20% of other grapes, red and white. They are all harvested and fermented together, as well as matured in 600-liter oak barrels for one year. This also reflects the character of the soil, finer and more elegant, subtler, somehow floral. This has balance and freshness, and a beautiful nose. Superb. 93+ (LG)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Featuring old vines including Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Palomino plantings from a sandstone vineyard, this bottling is wonderfully fresh, with an intensity, freshness and seriousness of intent that would allow it to stand toe to toe with 1er Cru Burgundy from Chambolle or Nuits-St-George. Lovely fruit purity and concentration all but hide any evidence of oak ageing. Arturo and Kike (Artuke, get it?) Miguel Blanco are among a new wave of younger Rioja producers, producing wines from high-quality, organically farmed vineyards, very carefully considering oak usage, while being less concerned with the typical aging conventions (Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) of the past, more concerned with forging a new path for village and vineyard-defined wines. While they are based in Baños Ebro in Rioja Alavesa, they also have vineyards in the neighboring villages of Abalos and San Vicente.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 14