Gabaxo 2018 | Rioja
Tempranillo procedente de viñas propias plantadas en Laguardia, Navaridas, Leza y Páganos (Rioja Alavesa) y Garnacha de Aldeanueva de Ebro, Rioja Oriental (el 30%) y de Cárdenas, Rioja Alta (el 10%). 60% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha.
Las uvas de Rioja Alta se vinifican con sus racimos enteros y las de Aldeanueva, se despalillan previamente. Crianza de 11 meses en barricas de 500 litros de roble francés usado, maduración de 3 meses en fudres usados. Sin clarificar ni filtrar.
The 2018 Gabatxo was singing when I tasted it. Despite 2018 being a more austere year, this was floral and elegant, insinuating and nuanced, very expressive. This is different from the previous years when the wine was a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo. Now, there's less Tempranillo and more Garnacha, and Graciano comes into the picture. So, it's a blend of 40% Garnacha, 30% Graciano and 30% Tempranillo from different locations: Cárdenas and Rioja Baja for the Garnacha and Laguardia for the Tempranillo and Graciano. Alcohol is 13.5%, and there's very good freshness. It has fine tannins, and there's a very spicy side to it (black peppercorns from the Graciano?). It's nicely textured, long, precise, balanced and mineral. It's a serious wine that drinks well and has everything to develop nicely in bottle. Superb! 24,000 bottles were filled in January 2020. All wines now have a slightly longer élevage and are bottled a little later.