2014 Artuke "Finca de los Locos" Rioja (Previously $40)

SKU #1289626 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Finca de Los Locos comes from a single 2.8-hectare vineyard in the village of Baños de Ebro, where the winery is located. The vineyard, which was purchased by the grandfather of the current generation, is a terraced vineyard overlooking the Ebro River on a gravel soils. It's Tempranillo with some 20% Graciano with a clear herbal twist with a chalky, somehow minty character that made me think of a cooler climate red; it somehow transported me to Chinon, but with the faint balsamic aromas of some Mediterranean herbs. The palate shows really chalky tannins, very mineral, somehow austere, with character and an elegant rusticity. There is some 22-24% active limestone in the soil of the vineyard, and that clearly shows in the wine. This is a superb improvement, where the wine shows the character of the place. It should age nicely. (LG)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

"Vineyard of the Crazies" is the literal translation of this bottling, which features 80% Tempranillo and 20% Graciano vines planted nearest to their winery in Baños de Ebro, in sandy limestone soils. Aged in 500-liter barrels for 14 months, the wine has mixed berry fruit, with subtle spicy and vanilla notes in the background, not nearly powerful enough to detract from the bright energy and great structure of this wine. It should age nicely for at least 5-7 years. Arturo and Kike (Artuke, get it?) Miguel Blanco are amongst a new wave of younger Rioja producers, producing wines from great 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 and 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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- 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.


- 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.


Alcohol Content (%): 14