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Artadi El Carretil Tempranillo 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP93
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP94
  • RP94
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A wine with deep sensations: one can feel the vibrant fruit along with fibrous and sculpted tannins. A fusion between ripe flavor profiles and the precision of mineral characters, the projection of fine tannins and the encompassing texture of a delicate wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 El Carretil is produced with Tempranillo grapes from a single 5.3-hectare, southeast-facing vineyard planted in 1973 in Laguardia at 500 meters altitude. The grapes fermented in open wooden vats and carried out the malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, where it aged for 14 months. There’s fennel and licorice, it has some grainy tannins, vibrant acidity and some overall austerity. Here the soil speaks quite clearly, and tends to soften the differences between vintages. Drink 2015-2024.

I tasted Artadi’s 2010s and 2011s, as they seem to be selling the new vintages very fast and they even sell part of their wines en primeur. 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been very dry years. I didn’t have the chance to taste any 2012s, but I look forward to doing so the next time around. 2011 seems to be more fruit forward, more primary, without the complexity and depth of the 2010s, which were very elegant and is a superb vintage for Artadi. There are differences in texture between the two years, 2010 being more gentle, rounder and silkier and 2011 a bit wilder with a touch of rusticity. When it comes to production methods, only Tempranillo is used (except for the white which is produced exclusively with Viura), they destemmed all the grapes, the press wine never makes it into the final blends, and they only use French oak barrels.

Rating: 93+

WS 91
Wine Spectator
This generous red shows ripe blackberry and plum fruit, with vanilla, toast and tobacco notes. Broad on the palate, with full, well-integrated tannins and juicy acidity. A bold wine in the modern style. Drink now through 2024. 15 cases imported.
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Artadi

Artadi

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Artadi, Rioja, Spain
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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.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

VCYSP_VWG_AR_EC_11_2011 Item# 203267