Monte Gatún - 2019
90 Points - Parker
The past, the present, and the future of Rioja Oriental live in this wine. The past, represented by the traditional varieties; Garnacha and Mazuelo, the present by the now prolific Tempranillo, and the future built by the union of them all; following that oh-so Riojan tradition of blending varieties to make legendary wines.
Monte Gatún is an easy-drinking fusion of old and new; aromas of herbs, grains, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries. On the palate, it’s smooth, refined, and with a ripe Garnacha finish.
The Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Mazuelo grow in the vineyards of la Villa de Quel and sit at an altitude of 530-600 meters above sea level. They were lovingly cared for by hand, as Javier does with all his vineyards. Sustainably and organically cultivated, fermented naturally, and with very little intervention. Monte Gatún was made and aged in Javier’s urban winery and architecture studio in the heart of the capital of la Rioja, Logroño.
Annual Production: 4,500 bottles (The club has access to 300 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Smooth & easy drinking
Grape Variety: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
Ageing: 12 months in French Oak & Concrete
Winemaker: Javier Arizcuren
Bodega: Arizcuren Bodega y Viñedos
Region: La Rioja, Yerga subregion, Municipality of Quel
Designation of Origin: DOCa Rioja
Micro-Climate: Continental/Mediterranean - hot and dry summers and cool/mild in the winters
Elevation: 530-600 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 50 years old
Soil: Sandy loam
- Drink now or keep for up to 5 years
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 15/20 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideally served just below room temperature or at 18ºC
Arizcuren wines directly represent the Sierra de Yerga Terroir.
The Sierra de Yerga is the mountain range that separates the Cidacos River valley and the Alhama River valley, both tributaries of the Ebro River, in the oriental part of the Rioja wine region.
The vineyard is found in the municipality of Quel, located on the northern side of the Yerga mountain range, which runs West to East.
Most of the 16 hectares of the Arizcuren family vineyards are on the slopes of this majestic mountain range, some also in the valley. The valley is a very rich area biodynamically speaking, with a large variety of aromatic plants, orchards, flora, and fauna.
This is an excellent environment and microclimate that provides freshness to the vineyards, which Javier has been diligently caring over.
All the vinification occurs in open-top stainless steel vats. Cold maceration for 2-4 days and natural fermentation for 12-15 days with daily treading. Very few pump-overs (the process of pumping the wine from the bottom of the tank over the cap of skins).
Aged for 12 months in French oak and in concrete vats, balancing the influence of tannins from the wood.
Javier Arizcuren was born into a family of viticulturists in the village of Quel, La Rioja Baja. As both an architect and a winemaker he often finds his two worlds colliding; among his architectural projects include the Bodegas of Marqués de Terán and Finca Los Arandinos and more recently he worked on restoring the famous historic calados (tunnel systems used for wine storage) of Ollauri and the buildings of las Bodegas Conde de los Andes.
After studying viticulture and enology at the university of Rioja and experimenting in making small amounts of wine, in 2011 he decided to take care of his family’s vineyards, further honing his winemaking and discovering the unique character of the Sierra de Yerga’s terroir. Javier works with 16 hectares of family vineyards ranging from 30 - 120 years old of mainly Garnacha grapes but also Mazuelo and Viura, always looking to preserve the traditional viticulture of his village.
All the parcels are cultivated using sustainable and organic methods, without any pesticides, herbicides, or any synthetic products. The plots are all located in the Sierra de Yerga, this important mountain range separates the Ebro River watershed from several other notable river valleys, such as the Duero, the Tajo (the Tagus), the Júcar and the Turia, and constitutes an important geographical vector for the Garnacha grape varieties in Spain.
In 2016, Javier opened his urban winery in Logroño, the capital of Rioja. The space serves as both his architectural studio and his bodega, where he crafts and ages his wines. He designed the multi-purpose space to be efficient, modern, clean, and it beautifully celebrates all the rituals of the artisanal winemaking process. The doors are always open to anyone who wants to see the behind-the-scenes life of Arizcuren wines.
Logroño traditionally had small wineries in many of its buildings, until a few decades ago. Javier’s is now the only urban winery remaining in Logroño.
Ratings & Reviews
90 Points - Wine Advocate (Robert Parker)