Earlier in the year I got two bottles of wine made by Bodegas Izadi, a 2008 Rioja Blanco (white) and 2006 Rioja Crianza (red), from Dillies in Hexham. Bodegas Izadi is a relatively recent Spanish winery, founded in 1987 in Villabuena de Alaba in the Basque Rioja Alavesa, the northenmost of the 3 Rioja sub-regions. It has since expanded, purchasing Finca Villacreces in Ribera del Duero, Vetus in Toro and Orben in nearby Laguardia, Rioja Alavesa, to form the Artevino group.
I decided to open both bottles as the house wine for the bank holiday weekend. Each sported a minimalistic label with a simple traingular logo, hinting at a modern style of wine, although the Blanco was Fermentado en Barrica, suggesting more traditional winemaking as white Rioja is historically oaked, often to excess.
The Blanco was a traditional blend of 80% Vuira and 20% Malvasia, 13% abv. It had a floral nose with a little melon and some sweet oak, the wood also noticeable in the flavour but it was well integrated and didn’t overpower, giving a full textured mouthfeel with mild acidity and creamy, floral flavours. Overall it was a very pleasant 3 star wine, although I’d hesitate to buy again if it is in the £11 range as I believe (maybe if it was £9).
The Crianza, 100% Tempranillo, 13.5% abv, was aged for 14 months in American and French oak and also showed sweet oak on the nose but this time with plenty of red fruit, a classic Rioja aroma. It tasted deliciously smooth with sweet fruit and fine, chocolately tannins. I’d put this one in a modern stlye; the oak was well balanced, the fruit ripe and juicy – a real crowd pleaser of a wine and, at 3 1/2 stars, worth the price tag (£11.45 currently advertised).
Thursday 1st September is International Tempranillo day, so maybe I’ve peaked too early by opening the Crianza, but hopefully it’s a good warm up act for a 2003 Ribera del Duero I’ve got in mind. Otherwise I was impressed with the quality of both the Izadi offerings, although for value for money the white struggles a little.