2015 Bodega y Viñedos 'Inteus’ Joven Tempranillo
Region: Rioja Alavesa < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic since 1980; calcareous clay/limestone soil, high elevation vineyards
Winemaker: Luís Palacio
Luís Palacio’s father planted the first certified organic vineyard in Rioja in 1980, a region known more for its high rate of Parkinson’s Disease from pesticide use than organic farming. But he quickly converted the rest of his family’s holding when he saw the results, and three decades later, Luís has the most beautiful vineyards in Rioja—pools of green life in a desert of red clay. A plot of 150 year-old own-rooted Graciano and Tempranillo Peludo vines provide the genetic material for four generations of vineyards, the last of which, this Joven vineyard, Luís planted himself over 20 years ago. It’s high atop a ridge, where the air moves consistently among the native grasses and upland wildlife that coexist with his vines. They ripen their harvest slowly. This is single-vineyard Tempranillo with the distinctive dusty nose of Rioja, lush, smooth, herbaceous fruit, and remarkable depth and complexity for the price. Summer party wine that will please everyone, even in a red solo cup.