Bodegas Altanza Rioja
A small and comprehensive range of Rioja is produced at Altanza in the centre of the Rioja Alta. This is a sizeable 320 ha estate with just under 200 ha planted to vines. Olive oil is also important here and around 70 ha is also planted to olive trees. Unusually only Tempranillo is planted and yields are kept low, green pruning is practiced and the fruit is entirely hand harvested. A white is also made which comes from a blend of Viura and Sauvignon Blanc.
In the winery vinification follows traditional lines with fermentation of the reds in stainless steel and malolactic in large Allier oak vats. The wines are then aged in a mix of new and older oak with French accounting for 85% with some American and Russian casks also used. There is a soft juicy rosado and the Capitoso is an approachable semi crianza style red. The Lealtanza reds are made in a traditional style but the wines fruit is always to the fore and not overwhelmed by oak. The Reserva Selección is also bottled under the Lealtanza label and is a fresher more approachable red being aged for just 12 months in bottle after cask ageing in comparison to the Gran Reserva which is held back three years. The Reserva Especial is richer and fuller and comes from a selection of very old Tempranillo.
Pride of place though goes to the two Artistas Españoles wines. The Reserva Dali sees 12 months in new French oak, the Miro 18. Both are rich and sumptuous with a real old-vine complexity and dimension. A number of the wines are also released under the Edulis label. (DM)
❁ Bodegas Altanza (Rioja) www.bodegasaltanza.com
Bodegas Altanza SA 26360 Fuenmayor (Rioja)
Tel: 941 450860 Fax: 941 450804
To find out more about Bodegas Altanza and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide to North-East Spain..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines. (DM)