El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known 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 César 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.
The Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes were sourced from the highaltitude vineyards in Rioja Baja, vineyards are situated over 840 metres above sea level. The Viura grapes were mainly sourced from Rioja Alta, from limestone and clay soils.
2018 was a complex year with a generally cold, wet spring delaying budbreak and the damp weather during flowering leading to higher than usual incidences of mildew in the vineyard. Early summer was initially rainy, but a hot August allowed the vines to catch up and ripening occurred gradually through the cooler than usual September which helped the grapes achieve great balance and flavour. Generally, the 2018 vintage was a generous harvest producing fresh wines with lower alcohols than recent years.
The grapes were instantly chilled upon arrival at the winery and then pressed using a pneumatic press. The grapes were then fermented at 14 -18ºC in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 12-20 days, to preserve aromas and retain freshness. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place and the wine was bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.
91% Viura, 5% Verdejo, 4% Sauvignon Blanc.
This wine is pale lemon in colour with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. On the palate, it has lively acidity leading to a dry, fruity finish.
ABV = 12.0%.