Rioja (Ábalos)

'Chulato' Tempranillo Joven 2022


Whole bunch Tempranillo with tiny proportions of Garnacha and Viura from ‘younger’ vines, a mere 50+ years old. Temperature-controlled (26C) 8 day fermentation in stainless after 3 day carbonic maceration, pressed to malo then into bottle. Unfined. ‘Chulato’ is a parcela (single vineyard) within a paraje (equivalent to a lieu-dit) called Chulato de Ábalos. This is not quite a single vineyard wine however, as the yield from Chulato is augment with some fruit from neighouring pueblo, San Vicente. Chulato was planted in 1972. 2022 was an ‘interesting harvest’ … very dry during ripening, but with a jolt of freshening rain late … the pink was picked Sept 17, while Chulato hung until October 12.

Brightly-fruited but with no sense at all of tutti-fruity confection. Gentian, wild cherry, lots of mountain herb; orange tea, bergamot, rose musk, rhubarb. The palate is similar, tea-inflected little tart berries carry spice and flesh, nice and lively. Chalky, papery, talcy tannins, acid-fresh.