Arzuaga Crianza 2008
16 months in French and American oak barrels
The Wine Advocate, 90 points.
Fine Wine Imports
An old-school example of Rioja and one that provides ample evidence that the Old School still has much to teach us: instead of retaining youthful fruit, the extended barrel aging softens the fruit, ripens it further so bing cherries become black cherries. Earthy notes protrude: white mushroom caps, damp earth, forest floor and leather hints and the finish suggests dried strawberries. Drink soon or in the next several years.
This wine is made from 90% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Merlot. The grapes come from our La Planta estate with 20-year-old vines grown according to the traditional method. The soil is clay-chalky and the sub-soil is pure limestone at three feet from the surface. The altitude of the vineyard is 2,950 feet above sea level. The grape bunches are hand-picked at optimal ripeness, brought to the winery in 15 kg plastic crates, and sorted on a sorting table. After a gentle destemming and crushing, the grapes are pumped into small stainless steel vats where they remain for several days at a low temperature, carrying out a slow alcoholic fermentation at 27º C. After 16 months aging in 60% American and 40% French oak barrels, we obtain powerful but elegant wine that develops lots of gorgeous fruit.
About the Winery
Since its founding in 1993, Bodegas Arzuago Navarro has been known for its high-quality Ribera del Duero wines (Crianzas, Reservas, and Grand Reservas). The 3,458-acre estate called La Planta is situated in Quintanilla de Onésimo. Inside this large, natural area is a 370-acre vineyard, planted mostly with Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), but complemented by a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The winery is equipped with the most modern technology, and its stainless steel tanks can hold up to one million litres of wine. Aging in American and French oak barrels, our wines acquire all of their exquisite flavors and aromas. Combining tradition and technology, the Arzuaga Navarro family has been able to develop exceptionally tasty wines.