2021 Luberri "Orlegi" Rioja, Spain
ABOUT THIS WINE
Grape clusters are put into stainless steel tanks whole, without destemming or crushing. It undergoes a partial carbonic maceration; the beginning of fermentation is intracellular, and the process is temperature-controlled at 24°C. This is followed by maceration on the skins for eight to ten days while native yeasts present on the grapes complete alcoholic fermentation. Orlegi rests in the tank until bottling in January.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
The Luberri winery is located in the village of Elciego, in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, where they farm 35ha of old-vine tempranillo, along with some white viura and malvasia. Their vineyards are located principally between the important wine-growing villages of Elciego and Laguardia, extending to La Puebla de Labarca and Villabuena de Álava. Along with his wife, María José, they started their family winery in 1991. Florentino comes from a family of farmers from San Vicente de la Sonsierra who moved to Elciego when he was eight. There he worked with his father and brothers in the vineyards, learning every nuance of the terruño of Rioja. Building on these formative experiences, Florentino was part of the original Artadi project, where he made wines that were instrumental in the development of modern Rioja. These were the first wines that made the press take notice of Rioja’s greatness.
Despite the success of his previous wines, making wines to gain favor with critics was not for Florentino: "You cannot drink points." Florentino wanted to create wines that reflected the truth and gastronomy of his Basque homeland. Wines that make people happy. He became famous for resurrecting and perfecting the traditional style of semi-carbonic, whole-cluster maceration of tempranillo that is historic to Rioja Alavesa. This style of fermentation dates back more than two hundred years in the region, before the changes that came with the arrival of phylloxera and the importation of French winemaking techniques.