A cracking modern Rioja, combining the dark fruit of the Tempranillo grape with the spicy oak that marks out the best Rioja.
Izadi is based in Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of Rioja. The hillside winery (whose precipitous slope allows for gravity assisted production) was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Antón as a modern breakaway from the traditional style of wine produced by other members of his family. As his son Lalo, who now runs the estate, says: “the whole concept of Izadi really started around wanting to produce wine to satisfy the needs of our friends over a meal”. Izadi produces modern, international wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area.
Izadi owns 178 hectares and sources fruit from selected growers from another 108 hectares of old vineyard with an average age of 45 years. All located within the triangle formed by three villages: Villabuena, Samaniego and Ábalos. The vines are traditionally trained bush vines, a method which Izadi believes gives better exposure of the grapes, something which in turn leads to better ripeness and softer, fuller wines. The vineyards are 450-550 metres above sea level so warm days give way to cool nights, encouraging the aromatic qualities in the grapes to develop. The vineyards are planted in clay-chalk soils.
Grapes were destemmed and fermented in temperaturecontrolled stainless-steel tanks at 28ºC, with pumping over several times daily to extract the right amount of colour and tannins. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless-steel tanks before being aged in a mix of French (27%) and American (73%) oak barrels, 20% of which were new, for 16 months. The wine spent more than two years additional ageing in bottle before release. Made by Ruth Rodriguez.
This wine displays intense aromas of red fruits, liquorice and spices combined with delicate hints of cedar and smoky notes. The full bodied palate is rich and concentrated with a long, fruit-forward finish.