94 Points - Parker
Valdetrillo is named after one of Javier Arizcuren's oldest plots of vines, a 1.36-hectare vineyard of undetermined age that has survived centuries of history. The vines are ungrafted pure strains from the era before phylloxera, a mildew outbreak that devastated the vineyards of Europe in the mid to late 19th century, all of them planted over 120 years ago.
After the tragic Phylloxera outbreak, roughly 50% of La Rioja's vines were uprooted and replaced with hardier strains, but Valdetrillo remained untouched and today the vines continue to bear beautiful fruit, year after year. This is a true Rioja, from a bygone era.
Typically all vineyards planted over 90 years ago in Rioja had a mix of grapes. Valdetrillo is made with 96% Garnacha (historically, the most planted native variety) and 4% Malvasía de Rioja.
Hypnotic aromas give way to a delicious and ever-evolving palate of flavours. The old vine Garnacha gives the wine a ripe richness, while the Malvasía adds a touch of Mediterranean herbs followed by liquored cherries with an earthy finish.
Only 765 bottles and 99 magnums were produced and just 70 bottles are available to Albae. Valdetrillo, like its sibling wine Barranco del Prado, is found on the wine lists of several Michelin-star restaurants in Spain, and may also be kept for well over ten years maturing in the bottle.
Javier's urban winery/architectural studio is in downtown Logroño, the capital of La Rioja. Logroño traditionally had small wineries in many of its buildings, until a few decades ago. Javier’s is now the only urban winery in Logroño.
Annual Production: 765 bottles & 99 magnums (The Club has access to 70 bottles and 8 magnums annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Very long & Smooth
Grape Variety: 96% Garnacha, 4% Malvasía de Rioja
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
Vinification: In open-top stainless-steel vats. Cold maceration for 2 to 4 days. Alcoholic fermentation for about 20 days with daily foot treading. No malolactic fermentation
Ageing: 20 months in French oak barrels & Clay Amphorae. Bottled in March 2020
Winemaker: Javier Arizcuren
Bodega: Arizcuren Bodega y Viñedos
Region: La Rioja Oriental, Yerga subregion, Municipality of Quel
Designation of Origin: DOCa Rioja
Micro-Climate: Continental/Mediterranean - hot summers and cool/mild in the winters
Elevation: 762 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: Over 120 years old
Soil: Sandy loam from decomposed Granite and Silica
- Drink now or keep for up to 10 years
- Decanting is recommended
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Legumes, Meat or stews, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at 14/15 Celsius
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.
The paraje Valdetrillo is North-facing and sits high on the slopes of the Yerga mountain, at 762 meters of altitude, in sandy soils.
This is an excellent environment and microclimate that provides freshness to the vineyards, which Javier has been diligently caring over.
All of Arizcuren's wines are made using traditional and sustainable practices. After destemming, the grapes undergo three days of cold maceration followed by natural fermentation with indigenous yeasts for about eighteen days in open-top stainless steel vats with daily foot treading and gentle movement of the wine over the cap. The wine doesn't go through malolactic fermentation and is immediately transferred to used French-oak barrels and clay amphorae for twenty months of maturing. It was bottled in March 2020.
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
94 Points Parker - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
The 2018 Valdetrillo is a new Garnacha (with 3% Malvasía Riojana) from a plot in a zone of the village of Quel that gives the wine its name. The vineyard is on sandy soils at 800 meters in altitude, and the plants are ancient (nobody knows how old) and ungrafted. This is a rich, ripe and heady southern Garnacha with a touch of Mediterranean herbs, cherries in liqueur and something earthy/telluric. The nose is hypnotic and makes you go back to the glass over and over. The palate is luscious and reveals pungent flavors that are complex and ever-changing. This has 15% alcohol and matured in used oak barrels for 20 months. Very showy and impressive. There are 765 bottles and 99 magnums.
94 Points Tim Atkin (Master of Wine)
"It's a museum," says Javier Arizcuren of this ancient, 19th century parcel of 1.36 hectares
at 762 metres. Combining Garnacha with 4% Malvasía and other bits and pieces, Valdetrillo is a classic high-altitude, old-vine red, with effortless concentration, notes of wild mountain herbs, meaty blackberry and blueberry fruit, granular tannins and wonderful minerality and palate length. 2023-31