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Artuke krijgt lovende woorden van Luis Gutiérrez

2015 - 2018 in het Algemeen

"Don’t take for granted that 2016 is going to be a better vintage than 2015. I think 2015 was initially deemed too warm, but the wines are behaving better than expected and growing in bottle and, while 2016 was a cooler year and we like to toy with the idea that cooler vintages produce finer and more elegant wines, that generalization, like many others, is not always true. There are some great 2016s, but I also found myself favoring many a 2015 wine instead of their 2016 versions.

And 2017 could also be a surprise. Of course, the year was marked by the terrible frost of the night of April 28th, together with a very warm and dry end of the season that resulted in the earliest harvest ever at many addresses. Nevertheless, I found some amazing wines. I think Artuke produced their best collection of wines in 2017. The higher-altitude vineyards (and some warmer sites) escaped more or less unscathed. There were 55 liters of rain during the last week of August, and that slowed things down.

Brothers Arturo and Kike saw it coming: low yields and a warm and dry vintage, so they started harvesting the 12th of September and finished the 29th (in 2018, the harvest window was in October, later and longer, between the 2nd and the 29th). That early picking must have been the main reason for the unusual freshness of their wines from 2017. If 2016 was their finest vintage to date, I liked their 2017s even better, which means they are clearly on the way up. I’ve seen them grow and improve tremendously in the last five years, and they are now one of the most exciting vignerons in the region.

I tasted the bottled 2017s at a walkabout tasting a few weeks before I visited them in Rioja and was very impressed by the freshness and purity of them; they seemed to transcend the character and general quality of the vintage. As many others, they are also planting new vineyards, some at higher altitudes on slopes, and there might be one new single-vineyard bottling in the future, but for now, they are going to focus on the portfolio as it is now.

As is usually the case, I only tasted a handful of wines from the last vintage, 2018, as it was only a few months after the harvest, but it’s again a cooler year producing a healthy crop with lower alcohol and lower pH that seems to have delivered more expressive and lighter wines. Something to look forward to!"

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate

 

Artuke 2017

El Escolladero

94/100

 

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