Tasting notes: Orlegi is a return to the traditional light, fruit-forward wines of Rioja Alavesa. Utilizing whole-cluster fermentation for some of the grapes and indigenous yeasts, this is a classic, young Tempranillo. Tart red-plum and cherry notes, a touch of minerality and a bright pop of acid on the finish. A delicious wine for any day of the week.
Producer: Owned by Florentino Martínez Monje, Luberri is located in Elciego in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. Florentino farms 35 hectares of old vines located principally between the villages of Elciego and Laguardia. A farmer at heart, Florentino was the original winemaker at Artadi before establishing his own winery in 1992. He made a name for himself and his estate by resurrecting the traditional style of semi-carbonic maceration of Rioja wine.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Florentino is very hands-on at the winery, participating in all aspects of production, but his true love is working in the vineyards. All the plots are farmed with minimal treatment of the soils and vines. Individual vineyard sites are fermented and vinified separately. By keeping yields low (around 34 to 45 hectoliters per hectare) Florentino extracts grapes with great concentration and flavor. Grape clusters are put into stainless steel tanks whole, without destemming or crushing. The wine undergoes a partial carbonic maceration; the beginning of fermentation is intracellular and temperature-controlled at 24°C. This is followed by maceration on the skins for eight to ten days and native yeast fermentation. Orlegi rests in tank until bottling in January.
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