Izadi Rioja Reserva 2016, Rioja, Spain
A cracking modern Rioja, combining the dark fruit of the Tempranillo grape with the spicy oak that marks out the best Rioja.
Izadi owns 178 hectares and sources fruit from selected growers from another 108 hectares of old vineyard with an average age of 45 years. All located within the triangle formed by three villages: Villabuena, Samaniego and Ábalos. The vines are traditionally trained bush vines, a method which Izadi believes gives better exposure of the grapes, something which in turn leads to better ripeness and softer, fuller wines. The vineyards are 450-550 metres above sea level so warm days give way to cool nights, encouraging the aromatic qualities in the grapes to develop. The vineyards are planted in clay-chalk soils.
Grapes were destemmed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks at 28ºC, with pumping over several times daily to extract the right amount of colour and tannins. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless-steel tanks before being aged in a mix of French (27%) and American (73%) oak barrels, 20% of which were new, for 16 months. The wine spent more than two years additional ageing in bottle before release.