Cortijo Tinto

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There are volumes written on the use of oak and the winemaking practices of Rioja, but to the team making Cortijo it all boils down to a simple proverb: to make better wine, you need to harvest better grapes. Rather than build a chateau or a beautiful tasting room, Cortijo focuses on cultivating the most meaningful ingredient (perfect, healthy grapes) and preserving its character after harvest by limiting the use of oak in all their wines. To uphold their resolve, since 2009 the winery uses only their estate-grown fruit from the home of all the best wineries in the valley, Rioja Alta. The elevation of Rioja Alta, its ideal climate and its limestone-based clay soils are all powerful arguments for declaring it the best place for grape-growing in the Iberian Peninsula. For the neophyte wine drinkers who want to learn more about this magical, storybook wine region, Cortijo Tinto offers a perfect introduction.

WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
A pure, bright expression of estate-grown fruit from one of the most humble-yet-quality-driven wineries in Rioja Alta. The emphasis is entirely on the unmistakable wild red berry flavors that define a good Rioja and rejecting the traditional oak elements that hide them.

RATING HISTORY:
2016 90VM, 90JS; 2015 89VM

GRAPE:
100% Tempranillo. Vines planted from 1969 - 1995. Tended in clay and sandy soil at 568 m (1,865 ft) elevation

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
The fresh, pure character of this wine makes this an extremely versatile wine to pair with food. This wine pairs well with white meats like pork and chicken and flaky fish like hake, cod or flounder. This has the fruit and acidity to match with red meats, as well.

VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
After harvest, the skins mix with the unfermented juice for five days at 45F. This pre-fermentation “cold soak” enhances the wines aromas, color and flavor. Once fermentation has taken place, the Tempranillo skins spend another 10 days in tanks to extract all beneficial color and tannins. Subsequently 50% of the wine is aged for 2-3 months in 3 year old French oak barrels and 50% in stainless steel tanks. The oak regiment helps oxygenate the wine, promoting softer tannins, and a better integration and balance of all vinous components without imparting oak flavor.

PRODUCTION:
10,000 cases

LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The fifteen vineyard parcels that go into the making of this great expression of Rioja Alta (Zone 3) are located in two distinct towns, Briones and Arenzana, both sited at approximately 568 meters (1,865 ft.) elevation. In Briones, the soils are thin red clay and sandy. In Arenzana the soils are sandy with alluvial sediment. The climate conditions of this area are very beneficial to wine growing. The average temperature from April-October is 61.5F with 18.3 inches of yearly rainfall. The moderately warm days and cool nights of this Continental Atlantic climate forces the grapes to ripen slowly, resulting in wines that show brighter aromas and more fruit flavors.

TASTING NOTES:
Brilliant ruby. Lively aromas and flavors of juicy red fruits and peppery spices, plus a sweet hint of mocha. Shows good lift and energy and no rough edges. Subtle tannins give shape to a tangy, persistent finish that leaves a raspberry note behind.-- Josh Raynolds

ALCOHOL CONTENT:
13.5%

UPC CODE:
750 ml = 810411010211 / 1.5 lit = 810411010228