Castillo De Cuzcurrita

Rioja (Cuzcurrita del Río Tirón)

'Senorío de Cuzcurrita' Tempranillo 2018


The wines are 100% Tempranillo and all are ‘en vaso’ – goblet-pruned bush vines. The wines are worked only with gravity and are aged in French oak. With the outstanding acidity found here, the wines can be largely left alone in the winery, they are handled – including racking – as little as possible. The main vineyard was planted in 1970. Initially very vigorous, organics and yield reduction now see production reduced to a startlingly low ½ kilo/vine from the sandy, stony soil. Harvest is very late, usually commencing in mid-October.

Fruit is de-stemmed, hand sorted and basket pressed with gravity pump-overs. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel after stainless foudre, and ageing is in a combination of new, one-year, and two-year-old barriques. After ageing, the assembly is rested in large concrete for a few months prior to bottling.

A twitch of dark herb runs through blackberry fruitfulness on nose and palate. There's a touch of roof brick, dark mulch and river soil all adding a sense of place. Gently structured, soft mid-palate tannin runs into gentle acidity typical of this producer and of the cold soils out west of Haro under the Obarenes. Balance is excellent, with nice movement and great elegance.