Oenologist: Juan Carlos López de Lacalle / Jean-Francois Gadeau
93 points Robert Parker and 94 points James Suckling
Located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, within the beautiful medieval village of Laguardia, we find Artadi, one of the most acclaimed Spanish wineries today. Artadi's wines are, today, among the best wines in Spain, and a large part of this success is the result of the work carried out by the visionary producer, Juan Carlos López de Lacalle. Artadi was born from a cooperative in 1985, but it wasn't long before, in 1992, it gained the status of a private company. Obviously Lacalle's dreams were ambitious, and soon his wines began to rank among the best in the country. One of Rioja's pioneers in implementing modern winemaking techniques, Lacalle drastically reduced vineyard yields, introduced French oak and malolactic fermentation in wood. Focusing only on the quality and age of his vineyards, he left aside Rioja's normative commandments that preached long years of wine maturing in large wooden tanks to earn classifications of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. For Juan Carlos, there is no point in obeying the standards of designations of origin if the winemaker does not truly believe in the quality of his wines.
Viñas de Gaín is an aged red wine that marked a before and after in the history of Rioja and to which it is always worth returning with your senses wide awake.It was Artadi's letter of introduction, before the launch of his “older brothers”, the magnificent Pagos Viejos, Grandes Vintages or Viña El Pisón.