Tentenublo Xérico Rioja Tinto
Out of stock
Region: Rioja, Spain
Grape varieties: Tempranillo and Viura
Tentenublo Xérico Rioja Tinto is Roberto Oliván’s ‘very own house wine’. A spicy, ‘sauvage’ wine with smoky fruit and meaty earthiness.
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Out of stock
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About Tentenublo Xérico Rioja Tinto
Tentenublo Xérico Rioja Tinto is Roberto Oliván’s ‘very own house wine’. The Xérico is co-fermented Tempranillo and Viura, resulting in a spicy, slightly ‘sauvage’ wine, with an incredible freshness and energy from whole bunch fermentation. Black fruits, with a hint of smoky, meaty earthiness make this wine really captivating and something quite different from ‘traditional’ Rioja.
Roberto Oliván and his wife, Leyre Ruiz, of Tentenublo make honoring tradition look radical. A fourth-generation winegrower, Roberto farms 10 hectares composed of 30 parcels of vines in and around his home village of Viñaspre in the Basque part of Rioja – the Rioja Alavesa. The vineyards of Viñaspre contain a traditional mix of local red and white grapes: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Malvasía Riojana, Jaén Blanca, Viura, and more, planted on some of Rioja’s most interesting terroirs. Viñaspre sits high in the rugged foothills abutting the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range and was historically an important village in the wine trade due to its location on the road to Bilbao. The vineyards profit from extra altitude (up to 700m) and compelling geology but are exposed to the winds, rains, and extreme conditions typical of mountain viticultural zones (‘Tentenublo’ is the local name for the ringing of bells meant to ward off hail storms).
At Tentenublo, all parcels are farmed organically and vinified separately. The red wines always contain white grapes, which Roberto says adds a “chaotic” sensation to the center of the palate. The white wines are intricate, mineral-driven blends that offer fans of complex, savory whites a whole new set of sensations. For wine lovers reared on the mature, long-aged Riojas that dominate both the commercial market and popular understanding of the category, Tentenublo’s take on Rioja feels rebellious. Returning the focus to the soil, vinifying red and white grapes together by parcel and terroir, and bottling taut, energetic wines in place of the famous oxygen and oak-inflected blends that embody Rioja’s style today presents a sizable risk to a small family winery.
These are unique and personal wines that channel the energy and history of the land into long, laser-focused wines full of bright fruit, fresh earth, and pulsating mineral power. For anyone used to the rather bland merchant blends of Rioja, these wines might be described as ‘challenging’, but if you are prepared to give them time to open up in the glass, to try them with food, you will be rewarded by the great complexity and individuality that they offer.