2018 Artadi "Viñas de Gain" Alava (Rioja)

SKU #1551355 94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Very pure fruit to this with blackberries and blueberries and some dried flowers. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins and a linear, refined finish. From organically grown grapes. Inner quote mark (8/2021)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The young red 2018 Viñas de Gaín follows the same philosophy as the white, grapes from a variety of vineyards in Laguardia and Elvillar ferment in oak and stainless steel vats followed by malolactic in barrel and an élevage in oak of nine months. It showcases the serious and fresh style of the best wines from the year. It has cold fruit and a very fine thread in the palate, fine tannins, long and balanced, very fresh. It has depth and complexity. A very good wine, it transcends its price point, like an upgraded version of the 2016. (LG) Inner quote mark (1/2021)

K&L Notes

From its beginnings in the late ‘80’s Artadi made a name for itself not only for the quality of its wines but from where their fruit was sourced, all of which originated from their own 80ha of vines around the village of Laguardia, in the sub appellation of Rioja Alavesa. Rioja Alavesa is located on the Northern side of the Ebro River. The vineyards are in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria where there is more limestone found in these soils. -Now with all that said Artadi does not produce Rioja. Artadi left the appellation in 2015, as they no longer wanted their wines to be associated with the very inexpensive, lower quality, bulk produced wines that are found in grocery stores worldwide. They feel their wines are much better than that, and so do we. If you take a closer look at their label, you will see that the appellation is Alava - Espana. -Before they left, they were already moving against the traditions of Rioja, looking towards Burgundy for inspiration. They were no longer making age designated wines, no Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas, but rather a blend on sites from the village and single vineyard wines, something that the Appellation is now only just allowing. -The Vinas de Gain is their “village level” offering. The wine is 100% Tempranillo sourced from several vineyards sites; all of the vines are 20-30 years old. Fermentation that takes place in open top wooden fermenters, and malolactic fermentation and aging occurs in French oak.

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Price: $23.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/16/2021 | Send Email
-This is always one of my favorite Riojas. This is the wine that was instrumental for me unlocking regional terroir in Rioja. This wine always smells and tastes like Rioja Alavesa to me, there is a brightness to the fruit and a dusty mineral that always speaks to this region. What is so perfect about this is that Artadi no longer makes Rioja, they left the appellation. They now make Alava (Alavesa) wines, which is what they have always done. -The nose on this is very inviting. It is rich and fruit forward with an appealing mix of ripe and tart fruits resting on top of restrained oak notes. They are broad and have a warmth to them with hints of sweet spices and vanilla. The nose has a suggestion of that wonderful spice, leather, and earth, that warm booked filled library quality of classic Rioja. Yet the fruit jumps out and pulls your attention away from those notes, like a warm summer day, you have to go outside and play! -While the nose just suggests classic Alava (Rioja), the palate absolutely delivers it. This is a fantastic Rioja. It is a structured wine with beautiful, clean, spicy oak framing a rich mix of those fruits suggested on the nose. It’s focused, the fruit tones will have you daydreaming about summer time, but the earth, leather and spice tell us we are now in that library. Behind that fruit and spice is Alava, that very fine dusty minerality that comes from the limestone rich clay soils of the region. It lifts the fruit, pulling the high note higher and then persists allowing the wine to linger. -There is a wonderful transition from fruit to spice then to earth. It is seamless, flowing from one range of flavors to the next and then settles with minerality and fruit on the finish. Given time the wine becomes more generous. Drink this tonight with about 30 minutes of decanting or hold on to it for another 5 or so years. This might be Artadi’s entry level wine but there is nothing simple about it.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/8/2021 | Send Email
Another scary bargain in our Rioja collection. I tasted this before I checked the price out and that was a very pleasant shock! It has a deep, dark-fruited nose with cocoa, violet, and cassis scents. On the palate, it is immediately lush with pure black fruits, milk chocolate and a very light touch of anise and spice. Medium to full-bodied. This wine screams out for roasted or barbecued pork or chicken. In a word, delicious! If this type of thing keeps up, I may have to resign from the Champagne department and go back to my first placement here, which was Spain. As with other Rioja's in this price range of late, don't wait to buy it. It will sell out. I've found that out the hard way.

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