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Bozeto is a light-to-medium-bodied wine, with bright fruit, spice and red berry flavors. This is a “drinking wine,” not a “tasting wine,” like a heavy, oaky, “in your face” Napa Cab that is difficult to finish. Bozeto showcases the magic of Rioja's tradition of blending. Bozeto means, draft as in the first attempt of a project. Located in Rioja's historic town of Laguardia, Exopto Cellars produces miniscule quantities of three highly sought-after cuvées: Bozeto, Horizonte and Exopto. All three wines are different blends of traditional Rioja grapes Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha. The countless possibilities of blending reveal the true potential of different grapes, terroirs and the winemaker's skill. The grapes for Bozeto are grown in two different Rioja subzones. Garnacha and Graciano come from Rioja Baja's warmer, southern climate while Tempranillo comes from Rioja Alta's cooler conditions. Bozeto's high proportion of Garnacha is unique compared to most Rioja wines, which typically contain more of the fleshier Tempranillo. Bozeto's 10% of Graciano imparts bright acidity which helps the wine's longevity. The aromatic depth and complex flavors of Bozeto are a modern update of Rioja's finest traditions.

What makes this wine unique?

A small-production cuvée from Rioja in which the largest percentage of the blend is Garnacha instead of Tempranillo. Bozeto combines grapes from two of Rioja's three subzones: Garnacha and Graciano from Rioja Baja and Tempranillo from Rioja Alta. Bozeto contains 10% of the nearly extinct Graciano, a grape that adds longevity like no other local grape.

Rating history:

2014 90Vinous; 2013 91RP; 2011 90IWC; 2010 90+WA; 2008 90RP


50% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano. Organically and sustainably grown vines planted in 1973. Tended in gravel, limestone, loam, clay, iron, sandy and rocky soil at 630 m (2,067 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.

Pairing Suggestions:

This versatile red will pair with a multitude of casual plates like tapas, pressed Panini or wrap sandwiches, burgers and pizza, and it will shine with more formal dishes like roast chicken with smoked paprika, roasted or grilled pork tenderloin, and grilled skirt steak with Chimichurri sauce.

Vinification and ageing:

All the grapes are picked by hand and put into 12 kg cases for protection during transport to the winery. The fruit goes through a selection process to single out the best bunches and berries. There is pre-fermentation maceration when the skins mix with the juice for five days at low temperature (45F) to extract more expressive fruit aromas. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures (below 70-75F) to carefully extract less tannins and polyphenols and accentuate the pretty fruit characters of the area. Once fermentation is complete, post-fermentation maceration, where the skins mix with the wine, is performed for seven days. The Garnacha portion of the blend is aged for six to nine months in concrete tanks instead of oak barrels to achieve a softer, natural oxygenation without imparting oak flavors. The Graciano and Tempranillo portions are aged for nine months in neutral French oak barrels that are at least 3 years old.


1,200 cases

Location, Soil, Climate:

Located in the Rioja region (Zone 3 and 4). The Garnacha and Graciano grapes come from two vineyard sites located in the southern warmer Rioja Baja subzone at elevations of 600 meters (1,969 ft.) and 450 meters (1,476 ft.), respectively. The Tempranillo grapes come from the cooler subzone of Rioja Alta where the vineyards are sited at 500 meters (1,640 ft.) elevation. For soils, the Garnacha is grown in gravel mixed with clay-heavy limestone. The Graciano is cultivated mostly in soils rich with river stones and clay, and the Tempranillo vineyards are on a bed of limestone and clay. Regarding climate, the grapes that comprise the blend come from two different subzones. From Rioja Baja, Garnacha and Graciano make up 60% of the blend while from Rioja Alta; Tempranillo is 40% of the blend. Average temperatures from April-October in Rioja Baja are 65.5F as opposed to 63.7F in Rioja Alta. For yearly rainfall, in Rioja Baja, it is 14.4 inches whereas in Rioja Alta it is 15.4 inches. In Rioja's grand tradition of blending, the diversity of climatic conditions allows Bozeto to achieve superior levels of ripeness in the Rioja Baja grapes and acidity in the Rioja Alta fruit. These characters combine to form an extremely balanced and consistent wine year after year.

Tasting notes:

Exotic, high-pitched aromas of red berry preserves, potpourri and incense, with a zesty mineral note building in the glass. Sweet, incisive raspberry and blackberry flavors are lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity and a hint of white pepper. Finishes tangy and long, with smooth tannins adding shape and folding smoothly into the wine's fruit.

Alcohol Content:


UPC Code:


Tom Puyaubert

All photos: Friederike Paetzold