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 Alavesa and Rioja Oriental. 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 kilogram 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 ‘Coto de Imaz’ wines are sourced from carefully selected vineyards in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa with soils composed of limestone and clay. The Tempranillo bush vines are
aged between 35 to 55 years old and are low yielding (around 4.5 tonnes per hectare), producing grapes with superb concentration of flavour balanced by vibrant acidity.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were sorted, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks at 22-27°C and lasted for around 30 days. After malolactic fermentation in tank, the wines were transferred to new, 225-litre American oak barrels where they were aged for 18 months before the final blend was assembled and bottled. After this, the wine was aged for a further 24 months in bottle before release.
Ruby in colour with garnet hues. This is an intense and concentrated Rioja with aromas of ripe strawberry, blackberry and cherry coupled with spicy notes of vanilla and cocoa. Fleshy on the palate with velvety tannins and a vibrant acidity which carries the flavours onto the lingering finish.
Crying out for meatballs with brown and red rice, a Moroccan tagine or a Lancashire hotpot!