2015 Altanza Reserva, Rioja DOC, Spain (750ml)

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Located in the town of Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta, Bodegas Altanza was founded in 1998 by a group of four friends from winemaking families. They shared a passion for the wines and land of Rioja, and dreamed of producing “classic, timeless Riojas, with a modern touch and a lot of authenticity”.

To this end, Bodegas Altanza is guided by three fundamental principles: estate-owned vineyards, the best Tempranillo grapes and intentional use of French oak. In true modern fashion, they built a contemporary state-of-the-art winery from the ground up, using local raw materials. The estate spans 300 hectares, 220 of which are under vine and planted exclusively to Tempranillo—accounting for approximately sixty to seventy percent of the grapes they need. The rest are sourced from trusted growers that undergo a strict selection process and adhere to sustainable growing practices.

Oscar Martinez continues the Rioja winegrowing legacy started by his family over 60 years ago. Yields are intentionally kept low; green pruning and careful selection with no more than 8–10 bunches left on every plant combine to produce an average yield of only 3 lbs. per vine. All the grapes are handpicked into small boxes and quickly taken to the winery. Only native yeasts are used. Malolactic is done in large Allier oak vats. Although most Rioja DOCa wineries traditionally use American oak, head winemaker Carlos Ferreiro converted to exclusive use of French oak barrels in the aging process to achieve a more round, elegant profile, with a light filtration before bottling. Wines are sustainable and certified vegan.

100% Tempranillo. 18 months in French oak barrels followed by 3 months in 22hL Allier French oak foudres. The 2015 Altanza Reserva is a gorgeous expression of Tempranillo. Beautifully textured with layers of supple fruit, this wine is drinking beautifully right now and illustrates all the things we love about an optimally developed Rioja. An impressive effort, to say the least—a Rioja in its prime!

Deep garnet. Classic aromatics of dark berries, dried cassis and dusty earthy. The palate is plush and inviting with ripe, raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, strawberry preserves, and fig. Beautifully balanced, with solid, fleshed out acid backbone holding it all together. Closes with silty, mineral-laced tannins, and a graceful, tapered, slightly spicy finish.

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