Unfortunately this was at the expense of the grapes that before the tempranillo craze were the stars of the Rioja. One of these grape varieties that this Don Quijote is standing up for is the Maturana, a grape variety that only appears in this area and thrives in the colder parts. The clusters of grapes are tiny and once they’re ripe they don’t have such a sweet flavour, but more a hint of acidity. Once these little grapes have been harvested and pressed with a lot of care, the wine is put for 11 months in French oak barrels.
Once Master Sancha is ready to bottle and sticks a label on it we can read “AD LIBITUM”, meaning “at ones pleasure”, which this wine lives up to. With it’s intense colour and only 13 degrees of alcohol, a beautiful acididty and soft tannines, this wine becomes the perfect summer wine when you cool it down a little.
With it’s hints of red fruit and a little bayleaf, it’s a perfect match to the rabbit and the herbs of the previous page. It is and will be one of my favourite Rioja’s and to lay it on thick with the master, sir, you get a 10 out of 10.