El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known of Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
Grapes for the two Coto de Imaz wines are picked exclusively from El Coto's estate in Cenicero in Rioja Alta, where the soils are limestone and clay.
2013 was a difficult year for grape producers. Heavy spring rains and low temperatures delayed the growing season and resulted in uneven ripening. Fortunately, the risk posed by the two-to-three week delay was offset by prevailing good weather in September and October allowing for selective, staggered grape picking. Plots were harvested as the grapes reached appropriate ripeness, thereby optimising fruit quality. Rioja growers had to make full use of their expertise, demonstrating their ability to deal with situations as complex as this late vintage and get the most of it. The last grapes of the 2013 harvest were picked on 8th November - the most delayed harvest in recent history, and also one of the smallest. The Control Board of D.O.Ca. Rioja has officially rated the 2013 vintage 'Good'.
The best grapes are selected for the Imaz wines, as the maceration on the skin lasts for 3-4 weeks. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and the resulting wine is then aged in 225 litre American oak barrels for at least 18 months prior to bottling. It then spends at least a further 18 months in bottle before release.
Deep ruby red in colour, this wine shows some orange tones. The nose showcases a wide range of delicate red fruit accompanied by smoky nuances and hints of vanilla from the new American oak. On the palate, the wine is velvety and round, with smooth tannins and good acidity from the Tempranillo. The finish is soft, balanced and long lasting.