Vinostito – A 10 Year Journey
The recent Vinostito portfolio tasting celebrated a 10 year journey around the world of wine. Although the route has pitstops in Italy, Austria, France and Portugal, they are merely diversions, albeit worthwhile, from this grand road trip of Spain. Over the past decade in business (the first of many we hope!), founders Antonio and Rafa have assembled an exciting portfolio of growers, the majority of whom work sustainably, organically or biodynamically.
Olivier Riviere’s wines from Rioja are delicious. Rayos Uva 2015 (a blend of Tempranillo, and Garnacha) is cracking value – fresh, aromatic and juicy. Ganko 2013 is a blend of Garnacha and Mazuelo from vines near the village of Cardenas. It’s more serious – intense and nervy. There’s a temptation to compare it to Burgundian pinot noir, probably due in part to Olivier’s heritage, but that really does Rioja a disservice. Wonderfully balanced, the part whole bunch fermentation gives an appealing lift and freshness.
I’ve always liked Dani Landi’s Las Uvas de la Ira but had never had the chance to taste its big bro Cantos del Diablo. This granite and sandy vineyard is the highest, at 900m, in the DO of Méntrida. The 2011 showed cool but crunchy red berried fruit, was extremely mineral and marked by fine grained tannin – it’s delicious but needs time.
Time is something that you may not be willing to give to El Reventón 2011 such is its appeal right now. This single vineyard Garnacha is sourced from a 1 hectare high altitude plot near Cebreros. The soil type (slate with quartz and red clay) is different from Cantos del Diablo, but what they share is an attractive purity and tension. Two utterly brilliant wines.
I sense that I could happily spend an afternoon talking with Germán Blanco about viticulture and soil. I only ‘discovered’ his Quinta MILú wines late last year – the 2014 MILú is my current house favourite – and this was my first opportunity to taste the rest of the range. The wines explore the variety of soil types in and around the village of La Aguilera in the province of Burgos in the northeast of Spain. They are predominantly aged in French and American wood, but a recent experiment with amphorae has yielded good results.
The wines were a joy to taste – each showcasing their unique character whilst still retaining an inherent freshness. While the Bellavista 2013 was probably my favourite, Germán made a stirring case for the El Malo 2012, a vineyard whose late ripening cycle only allows for occasional production, but one that when it’s on, it’s very much on!