Ostatu Gran Reserva Rioja Alavesa 2015
This wine is a single-vineyard Gran Reserva from one of Ostatu’s oldest vineyards, El Rincón, planted in 1945. It is located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, near the village of Samaniego, on a small south-facing slope, at an altitude of 600m. Planted to traditional, goblet-trained tempranillo and graciano vines, El Rincón has poor clay soils with a limestone-rich subsoil, which is responsible for the incredible structure and longevity of their Gran Reserva. The village of Samaniego is famous for producing tempranillo which makes up the backbone of many of the most epic Rioja reds capable of improving in bottle for decades. Ostatu’s Gran Reserva is made only in the best vintages in small quantities, and each release represents the finest red wine Rioja Alavesa has to offer, built to improve in bottle for decades.
Ostatu is “Rioja mountain wine,” meaning their vineyards are located at very high altitudes in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range, where they are protected from the cold northern wind. This region is characterized by very old vines. The poor soils and the unique location at the foot of this mountain range create a special microclimate ideal for tempranillo grapes to have a long maturation and develop complex aromas and flavors. Samaniego is located directly in the convergence of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean climatic influences, which meet in Rioja Alavesa, molding the character of the vintages. This unique soil and climate also lend a certain austerity and structure to Ostatu wines, which differentiate them from other subzones’ Rioja wines. Ostatu is pure Alavesa mountain wine, born of an extreme climate. Many have made comparisons with the best wines of Italy’s Alto Piemonte and Valtellina regions; we don’t disagree.
Vinification – Grapes were hand-harvested in small crates with only the best bunches selected in the vineyard. The grapes are gently destemmed, but not crushed, with a brief intracellular cold fermentation, followed by crushing and fermentation with native yeasts in large neutral French foudres, followed by malolactic fermentation in new French oak barrels. It is then aged 24 months in one and two-year-old 225L barrels and an additional five months in old 4,000L French foudres. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered in April 2018.