Akutain Rioja Cosecha 2018
Juan Peñagaricano Akutain made his living as an engineer, working for a company that sold cooling units to wineries in Rioja. Yet, he made the most of the time he spent at the classic estates, befriending the owners while tasting and learning about their wines. Juan started Akutain in 1975, after planting a small, 5-hectare vineyard just west of Haro. He acquired a horse stable adjacent to the vineyard that he set up as a winery. Today Juan's son, Jon, handles the day-to-day operations of the estate, which now consists of 6.5 hectares of organically farmed vineyards. The wines are still made in the converted horse stable: native yeast fermentation in fiberglass, no temperature control, aging in used American oak barrels and extended bottle-aging in caves built under the original vineyard. Along with Lopez de Herredia, Akutain is the only producer in Haro to work exclusively with estate vineyards. Juan and Jon continue to produce wines in the old-school, traditional style of Rioja, emulating the grand houses of the past, though on a much smaller scale.
Akutain's Rioja Cosecha is a blend of mostly Tempranillo with a small amount of Garnacha. The grapes are fermented using native yeasts in fiberglass tanks and matured for a short time in the same vats. The wine is youthful and very expressive delivering an abundance of high-toned, red fruit character with background flavors of spice. On the palate, the wine is fresh and juicy with a medium body and light, airy finish. Pair with a wide range of tapas from chorizo to gambas al ajillo to assorted meat pintxos.