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.
100% Tempranillo from low yielding vines from each of the three sub zones of the Rioja: Baja, Alta and Alavesa.
The Tempranillo grapes are fermented in El Coto’s Oyón cellar in large, temperature controlled stainless steel vats that are fitted with advanced technology for the strict control of fermentation and maceration temperatures and colour extraction. The aim, to achieve the right balance between structure and balance in the wines.
The wine is then aged for a minimum 12 months in selected 225 litre, American-oak barrels and then for at least 6 months in bottle before release.
Bright ruby-red in colour, the fresh fruit aromas are preserved on the nose together with typical liquorice aromas from the oak and hints of vanilla. In the mouth good balance. Silky, velvety with good intensity.
Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc fruit from vineyards in Riverina was carefully selected for quality and character.
The Semillon was pressed quickly and cold settled to produce very clean juice for a cool flavour-retaining ferment in stainless steel while the Sauvignon blanc was crushed and sat on skins for 3 hours before pressing to extract as much flavour as possible. All juice was fermented cool to retain intense varietal characters. Wine was left on fine lees for a 4 month period before blending and bottling to maximise the flavours and character.
Transparent pale green in appearance, the nose has aromas of tropical fruits with some complexity of fresh cut grass.
Zesty palate of lime and lemon with some passion fruit and gooseberry notes.
The Molino Loco Tinto is grown in the Castaño family vineyards, situated in the north of Yecla located at an altitude of 750 metres above sea level. The vineyards are dry-farmed (they are not irrigated) and the limestone soil is poor. This means that the roots of the vines grow deep into the earth in their search for precious minerals and nutrients, which helps ensure healthy, ripe, flavoursome grapes. The Monastrell (Mourvèdre) vineyards are over 50 years old.
The grapes were crushed very lightly before being fermented and macerated on their skins for 10 days at a controlled temperature of 24-26ºC in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the wine was aged very briefly on oak to round out the tannins. The gentle handling preserved the natural fruit purity and freshness that is so typical of the Molino Loco style.
A beautifully deep and vibrant colour, reminiscent of ripe red fruits. Balsamic hints and floral notes sit beneath deep flavours of plums and cherries. A light touch of oak and soft, rounded tannins are followed by fresh fruits, making this a balanced and easy drinking wine.
Bodegas Máximo was founded in 2002. The fruit is sourced from the Tierra de Castilla zone in Castilla-La Mancha and vinified at the bodega’s state-of-the-art winery, where the focus is on temperature control and gentle handing of the grapes to ensure freshness and balance in the wines.
The Tempranillo vines are planted at an average altitude of 700 metres above sea level. The large diurnal temperature range here helps to prolong the growing season, allowing the phenolics within the grapes to develop slowly. Here, the Tempranillo grape is capable of producing extremely concentrated and aromatic wines.
After harvest, the wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Fermentation is followed by skin maceration over a period of 12 days. The wine is then aged for six months in new American white oak from the Northern Appalachian mountains (60%) and French oak (40%). It is then aged for a further six months in bottle prior to release.
Deep ruby red in colour. On the nose, subtle vanilla and tobacco nuances express themselves under a layer of ripe red cherries, black fruits and spices. The finish is long, with lingering hints of liquorice and mint.
Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from vineyards in Riverina was carefully selected for quality and character.
Fermentation took place at warmer temperatures of 20-22°C for five to seven days to optimised the extraction of desirable flavour and colour, whilst retaining a soft tannin structure.
Dark cherry red in the glass, the nose is of ripe red fruits, dark plums with a fusion of vanillin oak. The palate is full and rounded with silky tannins and lingering cherry flavour. Layers of juicy red fruits and dark plums combine with spicy notes, balanced acidity and a touch of vanillin oak.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress which helps to produce superior quality fruit.
The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur. The juice was naturally settled, racked and cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation which took place at 12-14°C. Half the wine was fermented in oak, and one third of the blend was put through malolactic fermentation in order to add complexity.
Straw yellow and bright in the glass, this wine is ripe and concentrated with a thread of minerality. The palate is clean, fresh and fruit driven, with a weighty mouth-feel and long finish.
Sourced from a family run estate near Beziers, the “Vieille Grange” wines from Calmel & Josephof offer excellent value – as the sign at the property says, “Vins de plaisir…..Enjoyable wines.”
“Les Rocailles” rosé is a light and elegant pink very much in the Provençal style. Made mainly from Grenache, the wine has a lovely pale pink colour and a clean, fresh nose with lifted fruit aromas. On the palate it is dry with soft fruit and elegant, balancing acidity.