Overview: La Antigua Clásico is one of Alberto Orte’s most enduring history projects and shows off an unexplored region of DOCa Rioja, the western mountain range of Sierra de la Demanda. Inspired by the style of winemaking that was popular in the first half of the 20th century, Alberto’s winemaking emphasizes freshness and minerality, leading to balanced, long-lived wines. To that end, he has found old vine Garnacha, Tempranillo and Graciano in Sierra de la Demanda, south of the Ebro river in Rioja Alta. The north-facing, high-altitude vineyards receive far less sunshine than those in the valley, resulting in grapes that ripen slowly, showcasing intense flavors of greater balance and focus. This poses quite a risk that only hands-on viticulture can remedy: this area is one of the last to harvest in all of Western Europe, usually in early November! In addition to the cool climate, Sierra de la Demanda’s vineyards are extremely scattered and steep. This terrain is impossible to mechanize, and all vineyard work must be done by hand. The result is a handcrafted wine of precision and elegance – fresh and beautiful to drink now, with built-in longevity.
This is a wine that harkens back to a style of farming and winemaking that had fallen out of fashion in Rioja – difficult and painstaking work that results in incredibly fresh, elegant wines. Using high altitude, north facing slopes, Antigua Clasico Crianza showcases the bright acidity and elegant minerality that make this terroir so special.
Tasting Notes: Brilliant ruby. Lively aromas of fresh, spice-tinged red and dark berries and candied flowers are complemented by suggestions of vanilla and woodsmoke. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and rose pastille flavors that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Gentle, slow-building tannins shape a smooth, persistent finish that strongly echoes the floral note.
Pairing: This wine pairs well with braised meats, roasted squash, and game.
Points: 93, Wine Enthusiast
Format/ABV: 750 ml/13.5%
In certain circumstances, a specific vintage may not be available. If this is the case, a comparable vintage of the same wine will be substituted for online orders. If shopping in-store, please check the bottle for the appropriate vintage. If you have a question about a specific vintage that is in stock, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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