La Antigua

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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Rioja
People: Compañia Vinos del Atlántico, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Certified Organic

Items

La Antigua 2008 Clasico Reserva, Rioja DOCa Login In Stock

La Antigua is a unique wine coming from one of the most special and unknown territories of the Rioja region. La Antigua is located in the southwestern part of Rioja Alta where the mountain range Sierra de la Demanda marks the southern border of Rioja. The vineyards here are some of the highest in Rioja at an altitude of 2,200 feet. Sierra de la Demanda also contains the oldest Garnacha vines in Rioja. The vineyard parcels are small with northern exposure and poor soil (95% silica sand and 5% slate sand – similar to Montsant). The northern facing vineyards experience cooler temperatures resulting in grapes that are able to ripen slowly hence showcasing flavors of great balance and focus. The last vineyards to be harvested in Rioja are in Sierra de la Demanda. The climate in this extreme part of Rioja is much drier; the nights are cool, producing grapes with thick skins and hence wines with more color and phenols. Garnacha is harvested here in November versus August in other parts of Rioja. Grape cultivation on these steep plots is very labor intensive, and it must be done by hand.

Many growers have given up on this region as evidenced by the many abandoned vineyards. However, a handful of wine producers have recognized the potential of this area to produce a fresher style of Rioja wine with vibrant color and higher acidity. The majority of the people who own these vineyards are local farmers who do not make wine, they only grow grapes, which in exchange they sell at top prices to the big bodegas mostly located in the north of the valley near the train tracks. In the case of La Antigua, the same people are handling both the vineyards and the winemaking. This farm-winemaking unity is always a key factor to fashioning superior wines.