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El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
This wine is made from 91% Viura, 5% Verdejo and 4% Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards in the Rioja Alta and El Coto’s Finca Carbonera vineyard which, at 840 metres, is the highest in the entire Rioja region.
The grapes, upon arrival at the winery, are protected by a carbon dioxide blanket that avoids any oxidation. The same gas is used for cooling the grapes before being gently pressed in pneumatic presses. The must is then allowed to settle before the clear juice is fermented at low temperature using selected yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel vats – this enhances the extraction of white fruit aromas. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place and the wine was bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.
The wine is pale lemon in colour with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. On the palate, it has lively acidity leading to a dry, fruity finish.