El Pacto, Rioja
This is a stellar and completely brilliant Rioja that made us really smile and pat ourselves on the back for remembering it. It is absolutely gorgeous!
This is a rich, luscious and balanced dark red with overripe strawberries and a lovely lick of used oak barrels on the finish. It is high enough in alcohol, but isn't too overbearing on account of the intense, dense fruit concentration.
Made from old Tempranillo vines with an average age of 70 years, grown in Rioja Alta, and all farmed organically and bio-dynamically, this wine was made as a nod in the direction of the Lopez de Haro's ancestors - doing things the way people used to do, and so on. If that were really the case, then the whole of Rioja would be as good as this, and it isn't! This really is an excellent synthesis of tradition and modern wine-making techniques, benefiting from climate change and the know-how of what to do with drier, hotter vintages. They couldn't have made a wine like this in the past - the climate and technologies were so different. It is aged for 14 months in oak barrels and we think they got in spot on.
So too does Tim Atkin who gave it 91 points, which is the same score it got in the Guia Peñin. Which is very good for this price.
The 'Pact' here is between nature and mankind, the vineyard and the vine-grower. The pact from The Allotment is that if you don't like it, we'll take it back! Honestly, if a larger more commercial winery made this, it would cost way more money.
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