Artadi El Carretil Tempranillo 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.
Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.
Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.