Superb modern Rioja made from very old vines with moderate use of oak. This is an impressive and intensely flavoured wine delivering rich aromas of dark cherries complemented by delicate hints of spice and herbal notes of thyme and rosemary. Glorious with a leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary.
Badiola is a fantastic new winery, founded in 2018 in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. It offers a new perspective on Rioja wines, with the emphasis on site (terroir), rather than ageing. The vineyards are situated on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria, predominantly surrounding the villages of Villabuena, Leza, Laguardia and Baños del Ebro, with each terroir producing wines with distinctive character. The vines are extremely old and low yielding – many were planted in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s – delivering concentrated juice with a clear identity.
The 100% Tempranillo grapes for this wine come from carefully selected parcels in the village of Leza. The local climate here is cool and humid, which leads to later ripening than other areas in the region and the wines have dense, inky and muscular tannins with a dark fruit profile. The bush vines are planted in limestone soils and are cultivated with respect for the environment, using minimal sprays of copper and sulphur. The fruit is hand-harvested in 15kg boxes to preserve the quality. Current Denominación de Origen regulations in Rioja only permit the use of a village name on the label by the location of the winery (i.e. the building, not the vineyards) thus the wine from the Leza vineyards is marketed as L3Z4.
The 2018 vintage was characterised by a cooler growing season, allowing a slow and gradual ripening cycle for the Badiola vines, resulting in fresh and aromatic wines.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY