Izadi Larrosa, Rioja Rosado is pale salmon in colour, this rosé has aromas of strawberry, raspberry and red cherries combine with notes of white peach and pear. Refreshing acidity on the palate leads to a crisp and elegant finish.
|Style||Dry, Rosé, Medium Bodied, Red Summer Fruit, Fresh, Elegant|
Vegetarian, Vegan, Sustainable, Practising Organic
About the region and producer
The Larrosa wines are a new project from the Izadi team, created to showcase the quality of fruit from old bush vine Garnacha. The vineyards are located between 600-800m above sea level, in the village of Tudelilla in Rioja Alavesa. The vines experience warm days and cool nights, as well as Mediterranean and Atlantic influence. The wines display both a vibrancy and freshness few can rival at this price point.
Owned and run by Lalo Antón and his family, Izadi, which means ‘nature’ in the Basque language, is a project rooted in a passion for gastronomy and wine. The estate was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Antón, Lalo’s father, who, at the age of 37 and with a background in restaurants, decided to create his own winery with the aim of producing modern, perfumed, food-friendly wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area. As well as the winery, the family also run the Michelin-starred restaurant, Zaldiaran, in nearby Vitoria.
The winery sits in the small village of Villabuena in Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of the region, at 400-600 metres above sea level. Izadi own 178 hectares of vineyards but also source from an additional 108 hectares. Importantly, whether leased or owned, the old vines from which all of the fruit for the wines comes have an average age of 45 years. They are located in the triangle formed by the three villages of Villabuena, Samaniego and Abalos. Due to the high altitude, there is a dramatic difference (up to 20°C) in temperature between night and day, which encourages the development of aromatics in the grapes. The distinctive white calcareous soils are mainly planted with old Tempranillo vines, traditionally bush-trained for better exposure to the sun and ranging from 30-100 years of age. Once picked, the grapes arrive at the bodega, which is on a steep slope with 50 metres of incline. This allows for a gravity-flow winery, ensuring less pumping, which can stress the wines.
Ruth Rodriguez is at the head of the winemaking team, a young and dynamic winemaker with experience in Sicily, New Zealand and Chile. The Rioja Blanco, made from a blend of Viura, Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco and Turruntés, is a modern style of white Rioja, combining purity of fruit with a subtle use of new French oak to add further complexity. Izadi’s flagship wine, the Rioja Reserva, uses only hand-picked grapes from 30 to 40-year-old vines. The wine is aged for 16 months in American and French oak barrels and for two further years in bottle to qualify for Reserva status. Lively red and black fruit flavours combine with toast and spice notes, giving a remarkably complex wine for its modest price point.
Vineyard and Wine Making
The grapes for this rosé were sourced from 60-year-old Garnacha bush-trained vines, planted on chalky-clay soils. The vineyards sit at 790 metres above sea level, meaning the grapes benefit from warm days followed by cool nights and undergo a perfectly paced, slow ripening. This allows them to accumulate great intensity of flavour whilst retaining acidity. These old vines are low yielding, around 5 tonnes per hectare, but the fruit that they produce is extremely concentrated. Harvesting is done by hand.
The Garnacha grapes were picked by hand at the end of September. Upon arrival at the winery they were gently pressed and underwent a short maceration (approximately 1 hour) in the press to extract aroma and a delicate pale pink colour from the skins. After this, the must was transferred to temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and was clarified by flotation. Once the desired clarity was achieved, fermentation at cool temperatures between 14°C and 16°C ensured that the delicate and perfumed aromas were preserved in the wine. The wine underwent a period of ageing on its lees after fermentation to add texture to the palate, but did not go through malolactic conversion in order to retain its vibrancy.
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