Country: Spain Region: Rioja Vintage: 2011
Varietal: Tempranillo and blends Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"Owned and run by Lalo Anton and his family, 'Izadi', which means 'nature' in the Basque language, is a project established from a passion for gastronomy and wine. The estate was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Anton, Lalo's father, who at the age of 37 and with a background in restaurants, decided to create his own winery. As a result, they produce modern, perfumed, food friendly wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area, unhindered by the sort of deviant flavours that are all too common in Rioja. As well as the winery, the family also run the Michelin-starred restaurant, Zaldiaran, in nearby Vitoria.
The winery sits in the small village of Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of the region, at 400-600 metres above sea level. All of the 187 hectares of vineyards, either owned or leased on long term contracts, are located in the triangle formed by the three villages of Villabuena, Samaniego and Abalos. Due to the high altitude, there is a dramatic difference (up to 20°C) in temperature between night and day, which encourages the development of aromatics in the grapes. The distinctive white calcareous soils are mainly planted with old Tempranillo vines, traditionally bush trained for better exposure to the sun and ranging from 30-100 years old.
Ruth Rodriguez is at the head of the winemaking team, a young and dynamic winemaker with experience in Sicily, New Zealand and Chile. The Rioja Blanco, made from a blend of 80% Viura and 20% Malvasia, is a modern style of white Rioja, combining purity of fruit with a subtle use of new French oak to add further complexity. Izadi's flagship wine, the Rioja Reserva, uses only hand-picked grapes from 30-40 year old vines. The wine is aged for 14 months in top quality American and French oak barrels and for two further years in bottle to qualify for Reserva status. Lively red and black fruit flavours combine with oak, toast and spice notes, giving a remarkably complex wine for its modest price point."
Product Features: Vegan;Vegetarian
Winemaker: Ruth Rodriguez
Izadi sources their fruit from 186 hectares of vineyards in Samaniego, Abalos and La Puebla de Labarca, all located in Rioja Alavesa. The vineyards are all either owned or leased on long-term contracts, so they have full control over production. The vines are traditionally trained bush vines, a method which Izadi believes gives better exposure to the grapes, something which in turn leads to better ripeness and softer, fuller wines. The vineyards are 600 metres above sea level, so warm days give way to cool nights which encourage the aromatic qualities in the grapes to develop.
Grapes were handpicked. Upon arrival at the winery, they were de-stemmed, softly crushed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28ºC, with pumping over several times daily to extract the right amount of colour and ripe tannins. The wine underwent 28 days of maceration before ageing in 225 litre oak barriques (73% American, 27% French) for 16 months, 20% of which were new. It spent a further two years in bottle before release, which qualifies it for Reserva status.
Shiny ruby red in colour. Rich aromatic intensity and a nice balance of red fruit, liquorice and spices, with hints of smoke in the background. Elegant and round on the palate with a long aftertaste full of floral and ripe fruit notes.
Food Suggestion: Drink with a selection of appetisers such as Iberico and Serrano ham, chorizo and other cold meats or cheeses.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:14% Classification: DOC