Bodegas Artuke, Paso las Mañas, 6 Bottle Case 75cl

The second vintage of a vineyard 700 metres above sea level in the village of Samaniego producing the fabulous Paso Las MaÑas, a pure Tempranillo with a very low yield planted in 1999 and 2013. This artisan wine (3000 bottles) is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in two casks for 15 months. This wine has such a sleek and aromatic profile thanks to the high altitude of the vineyard from which it comes. Despite its elegance, the wine has firm tannins and a very serious spine as well as an unheard-of depth. This is a fresher expression than the previous vintage but also more delicate and with a stronger Burgundy style, while the previous one was a more north-Rhonestyle. No doubt, this is a very pleasant wine and already very successful in Spain!

We once asked Arturo Blanco what the philosophy at Bodegas Artuke was and he simply replied ‘we are farmers’. The approach here is 100% focused on interpreting the family’s 32 plots which are split between the villages of Baños de Ebro and Ábalos in Rioja Alavesa. Biodynamic techniques are employed in the vineyards and Arturo and Kike are also busy recovering old, ignored plots of ancient vines. Vinification is aimed at expressing the characteristics of the vineyard and quality of fruit above all else. As such, the first two wines in the range are ‘village’ wines from Baños de Ebro and Ábalos respectively, followed by three single vineyard wines. The restrained use of oak and inclination towards different types/sizes of barrel, plus an unwillingness to adhere to the subscribed regimes for classification means that Artuke are precluded from using Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva designations on their wines.

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