El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known of Rioja producers. Its first bottling was released in 1975.
Today, El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. El Coto is the leading quality brand in Rioja and among the top-selling Spanish wines in Europe.
El Coto is the largest vineyard owner in the Rioja region in North Central Spain which provides a tremendous ability to control the quality of the grapes which go into their wines. Most of the fruit used is sourced from their own sites. Their outstanding Red wines are made with grapes picked primarily in the heart of Rioja Alta at their own estate at Cenicero. An increased focus on sustainability, in both the winery and the vineyard, includes the use of cover crops and preventative pest management. They are not just stopping at sustainable agriculture either, currently El Coto are in the process of converting around 40 hectares of vineyards in Los Almendros.
White Rioja continues its rise in popularity and El Coto have invested in new sites to supply demand. With pockets of the new property climbing 900 metres altitude, this is the highest vineyard in the region, and the elevation and aspect is ideal for the planted white varieties including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. El Coto Rioja Blanco contains a small proportion of Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo to back up the primary Viura. The addition of these varieties adds freshness and aromatic intensity to the blend. The El Coto ‘875m Finca Carbonera’ Chardonnay, tips the hat to the high-altitude Finca Carbonera vineyard where the grapes are grown. For extra texture and flavour it is barrel-fermented and aged for three months in new French oak barrique.
Head winemaker César Fernández oversees production, from the vineyard to the winery making sure the grapes arrive in perfect condition at the modern and strategically designed winery. Temperature control is of prime importance at the winery and the grapes are sorted and handled with great care to avoid any spoilage. The Blanco is fermented at a relatively cool 14 to 16°C to preserve primary fruit aromas and to retain that essential freshness.
El Coto Crianza, made from 100% Tempranillo, is not released to the market until it has been aged for almost two years. It spends one year in American oak and at least eight months in the bottle before it arrives on our shelves. The taste is clean and supple with energetic and vibrant red fruit profile.
The ‘Coto de Imaz’ Rioja Reserva and ‘Coto de Imaz’ Rioja Gran Reserva wines are made from a selection of the best Tempranillo grapes from estate vineyards in Rioja Alta. While the Reserva is 100% Tempranillo, a small amount of Graciano is used in the Gran Reserva to add complexity. Maceration on the skins lasts for three to four weeks and the resulting wine is aged in oak: 18 months for the Reserva and 24 months for the Gran Reserva. Both wines nicely combine the traditional oak characters of Rioja with a freshness and fleshiness of fruit that make them very classy indeed. This quality was recognised at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2019, with the 2012 Gran Reserva taking home ‘Best in Show’ and 97 points. More recently, it was listed ninth in Wine Enthusiast’s Top Wines of 2020 and came ‘highly recommended’ as one of Decanter’s Wines of the Year 2020.
Discover our Collection of Rioja El Coto
Discover our Collection of Wines from the Rioja based producer El Coto.