Bodegas Izadi El Regalo 2012
Deep, dark garnet red with dark legs. Excellent aromatic intensity and complexity with notes of ripen fruit and spices, underscored by smoky and lactic notes. Well- structured and full-bodied in the mouth with much complexity and a long finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Quite balsamic, modern and oaked with notes of smoky bacon, the 2012 El Regalo Reserva was recently bottled. It's still quite young (I reviewed 2007 last time!) and offers roasted aromas intermixed with notes of banana skin, black plums and cherries developing some floral notes that slowly emerge over the spicy tones. The palate is medium to full-bodied with plenty of dusty, slightly grainy tannins, good acidity and length. The oak needs to get better integrated and calm down. Wait on this wine. For fans of the more modern Rioja style.
Located in Rioja Alavesa, Izadi aims to produce wines that express the character of the varieties indigenous to Rioja: Viura, Malvasía, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. They own 72 hectares and have access to another 108 hectares through long term contracts. All are located in a triangle, hence this familiar shape on their labels, formed by the towns of Villabuena, Samaniego and Ábalos. Farming is sustainable with many organic practices. The average age of the vines is greater than fifty years old and the soils are a mix of sandy clays and clay limestone.
Stylistically they adhere to a middle ground between tradition and modernism in Rioja valuing the elegance of the former married to the fruit-forward qualities of the later. The Anton Family founded Izadi in 1987 after years of running vineyards in Villabuena de Alaba. The Antons also own a one star Michelin Restaurant (Zaldiaran) in the hamlet of Vitoria. Transformation of the winery happened in 1997, when Don Gonzalo Anton hired Mariano Garcia (wine maker for 30 years at Vega Sicilia). Together with Angel Ortega (winemaker for Izadi), they created what we now recognize as the Izadi style: robust yet refined, modern and elegant.
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.