Bodegas Bhilar is a boutique winery located in Elvillar, Rioja Alavesa, run by the husband-and-wife team of David Sampedro and Melanie Hickman. All 16 hectares of their vines are certified organic and farmed following biodynamic tenets and exclusively by plow horse. The wines are produced in Bodegas Bhilar’s “off the grid” solar-powered winery. In addition to rescuing small, old parcels, energy is invested in restoring historic terraces and planting varieties that add freshness, such as Graciano, Garnacha Tinto and Blanco, Maturana Tinta (Trousseau), and other white varieties.
This wine, their young and bold Rioja tinto, is a blend of Garnacha, Macabeo, and Tempranillo from estate and purchased fruit. The grapes are destemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete, before aging in large oak barrels for 18 months. The profile is bold and dark, with a modest influence of new French oak. Rich and dark on the nose, with aromas of cherries, dried thyme, rosemary, and cloves. Dense black fruit on the palate, evolving into blueberry, strawberry, cherry, and black pepper in the glass. Structured with fine-grade tannins and refreshing acidity; the finish is clean and persistent.
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