Spanish Wine Exclusives

Spanish Wine Exclusives

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NEW york


La Rioja

Basilio Izquierdo

Basilio Izquierdo is a winemaking master. His knowledge, ceaseless curiosity and amazing problem solving abilities in winemaking are a wonder to behold. It also helps that he was the head winemaker at CVNE and Contino for more than 30 years and responsible for dozens of true classics that send Rioja aficionados to tears, such as the great “Imperial” and “Viña Real” Gran Reservas of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and the mythic Contino ’82 Reserva. Not to mention his understanding of many of the lost traditions of Rioja.

Simply put, Basilio is one of Spain’s most brilliant winemakers. In 2006 he started a personal project of his own, Bodegas Basilio Izquierdo, in a garage style cooperative winery space in the town of Laguardia within the Rioja Alavesa sub-zone of Rioja. His goal: to explore some of the lost art of Rioja winemaking in conjunction with his knowledge of the latest techniques and materials and access to favored old vine plots. The results are powerful, personal and elegant wines, built around exceptional old vine fruit.
Basilio makes four wines, Acodo and B de Basilio, each in both white and red. All are very low production from around 100 cases per vintage to 600 for his largest production wine the B de Basilio red. For Acodo, Basilio employs higher amounts of Garnacha Blanca in the white and Garnacha in the red than typical, which help create Acodo’s bright and fruit forward style. Even so the grapes are mostly old vine grapes from vineyards planted with massally selected vines pre-dating modern clones, which contributes to its rich character. Although fruit forward, Acodo it is ageworthy in its own right and benefits from extended bottle aging to coax out further complexity.
B de Basilio is the top wine of the house and made from select, very old vine fruit, from as much as 100 year old vines, and offers both power, supple elegance and complexity. As with Acodo the grapes are all from vineyards planted with massally selected vines pre-dating modern clones, which contributes to its deep character. With B de Basilio, even greater percentages of Garnacha Blanca, around 66% in the white, and Garnacha, around 33% in the red are employed, and harken back to previous eras when grapes besides Tempranillo featured more prominently in blends. The result is profound wine, both accessible and ageworthy, offering many years of enjoyment, whether in its fruit driven youth or later after years in the cellar, displaying layers of nuance and flavor around a vibrant, old vine core.