Artadi Pagos Viejos 2005
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
This wine displays a bright and clear cherry color with bright rims. Its ripe fruit, its deep balsamic freshness with cocoa and cakes can be easily appreciated. Retro nasally, one can feel spicy and exotic woods touches. ARTADI Pagos Viejos tannins are silky and ripe, intermingled with fresh ripe fruit: blackberry and blackcurrant. Its finish is amazingly fair and lingering.
The Wine Advocate - "Already complex both aromatically and on the palate, it has superb materials while appearing to be more structured than the 2004. Purchasers will need to be a bit more patient with this 2005 and should consider drinking the 2005 Vinas de Gain in the interim. Kudos to Bodegas Artadi for this tour de force!"
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Smoky raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by minerals, lavender and rooty sassafras. Suave red and dark berry flavors are complicated and deepened by exotic spicecake and sweet licorice. Impressively integrated tannins add gentle support. Pulls off the trick of outstanding concentration with finesse and finishes with superb precision and length. While still young, this is lovely today."
The Artadi estate was created in 1985 by the dynamic visionary winemaker, Juan Carlos Lopez de la Calle. His objective was to seek and nurture the concept that Tempranillo, when cultivated at high altitude, low-cropped, and from old vines, produces extraordinarily rich and profound wines. This, coupled with specific barrel treatments (with minor American oak influences) produces some of Rioja’s best wines.
Artadi is about purity of extracted fruit with almost Burgundian textures. In fact, critics have often compared these wines to the top wines of Chambolle-Musigny and other top appellations of Burgundy. The key to this level of elegance comes from the cold wines of the Pyrenees which blow from the north. This coupled with moderate temperatures tend to make these wines a study in elegance and power, the iron fist in a velvet glove if you will. They are some of the most extraordinary examples of Tempranillo in the world. View all Artadi Wines
About RiojaView a map of Rioja wineries (ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.