André's Travel Log

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Ramblins on Europe, May 2011: Part 3

Rioja Alavesa is special and when we step into the north of Alavesa and taste with Ostatu the identity of this province is clear.  All things are very Basque here in this striking terroir along the Cantabrian Mountain Range.  The wines are now finding a clear path.   Inigo is at the helm and doing a great job here. The trips to the US and the time understanding the way forward are all paying off.  Interesting how much more structured their 2008's are than others.  Next we head to Remelluri in Labastida.  Literally down the street (ok a few kilometers) but the wines are different.  maybe because the elevations are higher, the wines are almost lighter.  The vineyards here are also tremendously beautiful.  Telmo Rodriguez is practicing a philosophy akin to French model.  A chateau with its vineyards and all done while respecting the integrity of the environment.  Next we travel to La Rioja and and visit Conde De Hervias.  The vineyards here were the first to be used in replanting Rioja after the phyloxera epidemic.  Centenial vines on the right bank of the Ebro River.  Iñigo has three different wines coming from his 35 hectars parcel.  The wines have great acidity and reflect a modernist vision of Rioja Alta.