Raw & Ripe Anniverssary Grand Tasting
In the 25 years since Araex Grands was founded by Javier R. Galarreta, there has been a seismic shift in the quality of Rioja Alavesa wines. A region once known for simple carbonic maceration wines is now the epicenter of Rioja terroir, showcasing the power of old vine grape concentration; freshness and elegance gained at altitude; and innovation and technological advances that make the most of traditional winemaking techniques .
To celebrate the milestone in the company’s history, a wine tasting of 21 wines for 105 people titled Raw & Ripe – curated wine list by Jose Peñin & David Schwarzwaelder. During this special tasting, we had the honor to present many of the singular wines released by our partner winegrowers over the years that highlight these characteristics and contributed in no small part to the redefinition of Rioja Alavesa .
However, as we celebrate the past 25 years and the hard work proving the potential of our land, we have never been more excited by its future. After years advocating for greater emphasis on the location and characteristics of our vineyards as the most important indicators of quality, we can now craft single vineyard wines from our most cherished old vines .
For this special occasion, many of the singular wines released by Araex Grands’ partner winegrowers were presented, which highlight the characteristics and contributed in no small part to the redefinition of Rioja Alavesa: Wines like Altos de Rioja Pigeage, Amaren Tempranillo Reserva, Baigorri de Garage, Lar de Paula Merus 4, Luis Cañas Reserva de la Familia, Manual Quintano and R&G Esencia have shown what winegrowers in Rioja Alavesa are capable of creating from the oldest vines rooted in poor soils in small plots on sloping terraces. These are the ‘Ripe’ wines that have helped turned the world’s focus to the north bank of the Ebro River and have made Araex Grands, the leading Spanish group of independent winegrowers .
The wine tasting list included the following highlights :
- Manuel Quintano Reserva – “Finca El Mirador” 2016, Labastida & Manuel Quintano Reserva 2014 vs. 2004
- Altor R Pigeage “Finca Morales” Graciano 2017, Laguardia & Altos R Pigeage Tempranillo 2014 vs. 2009
- Luis Cañas “El Palacio” 2017, Villabuena & Luis Cañas Reserva Selección De La Familia 2014 Vs. 2005
- Amaren “Viña Chelus” 2017, Samaniego & Amaren Reserva 2010 vs. 2005
- Lar de Paula “Huerta Nueva” Garnacha 2014, Elvillar & Lar de Paula Merus·4 2012 vs. 2004
- Baigorri “Finca Quintanilla” 2016, Samaniego & Baygorria de Garage 2014 vs. 2005
- Rolland & Galarreta “Virtus” 2016, Samaniego & Rolland & Galarreta Esencia 2015 vs. 2012