Grapelive: Wine of the Day March 12, 2017

2015 Akutain, Rioja Cosecha, Spain.
The Akutain Cosecha Rioja is beautifully fresh and lively with impressive purity and style, it’s mostly Tempranillo with a small amount of Garnacha that was fermented and aged in fiberglass vats using native yeasts and comes from high elevation vines. Juan Peñagaricano (Akutain) is the winemaker and grower here, he is a traditionalist Rioja old school producer, heavily influenced by the grand Bodegas of Cvne and La Rioja Alta, though he is tiny by comparison and handcrafts only a small amount of wine from three estate plots in Rioja Alta near Haro on clay-calcareous hillsides planted to mainly Tempranillo about 85% and Garnacha 14% and with maybe 1% Viura. The Akutain Crianza and Reserva(s) are ultra traditional with American oak aging, very impressive and deep, but I adore the vibrant no oak Cosecha 2015 for it’s direct fruit, vibrancy and pure form, it’s a vivid terroir driven beauty to enjoy young and often! Bright ruby and with light earthy tones the Akutain Cosecha offers crushed blackberries, tart currants, cherry and dusty plum fruits with light mineral notes and spices with hints of chalk/stone, anise and lilacs. This is easy to love Rioja that has a bit of a Cotes du Rhone like feel, but certainly speaks of it’s Tempranillo character with a medium body and soft tannins. Imported by Jose Pastor Selections, Akutain is a label to look for delivering lots of value and old world charm, especially this 2015 Akutain Cosecha which will be great with a slight chill and with tapas, or summer picnics or BBQ parties as well as with almost anything you prepare on a Tuesday night, drink now.
($16 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive