Bodega Akutain

VigneronJon Peñagaricano
LocationHaro (La Rioja)
Size of Domaine6.5 ha
TerroirContinental climate with Atlantic influence, sheltered from the rain by the Montes Obarenes mountain range. Clay-limestone soil, limestone bedrock. 550-650m altitude.
ViticulturePractising organic
View Bodega Akutain wines ↓

Bodega Akutain is a 6.5ha family estate set up by Jon Peñagaricano’s father 40 years ago, 5km west of Haro’s epicentre. Here they spare no effort to produce wines that accurately reflect the wind-swept limestone clay higher hills of Rioja Alta (all their vineyards are in this zone) and are in the process of converting to organic viticulture.

The winery and underground cave that they use to age their bottles are located next to their vineyards (split into four parcels that are all vinified separately), and they are consequently able to time their picking and transport the hand harvested grapes back to the winery in perfect condition, and much quicker than most bodegas who buy grapes from many widely scattered sources.

Back in the cave they age their wine for longer than the minimum periods prescribed by the DO, using high quality older oak, rack every six months by decanting the contents of every individual barrel out and then back into the same barrel, and bottle unfiltered. Each of their wines is very distinct, but it’s great to taste Rioja with a clear terroir print, and a refreshing salinity on the finish that you’d expect to find from wines grown on calcareous soils.

Jon Peñagaricano
01_Vine_Trail_Bodega_Akutain_5_3 La Rioja Alta

Bodega Akutain Wines

RIOJA 2021
97% Tempranillo, 3% Garnacha
97% Tempranillo, 3% Garnacha (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

Hand crafted Rioja by a very small independent 6.5ha estate in the Rioja Alta where the finest Riojas emanate, here the 25-40yo vines are planted in a pale calcareous clay at 500-650m altitude and give a yield averaging 40hh. The first of the Akutain wines is aged in cuve 100% and bottled unfiltered after a year. On the palate it is very much on the fruit with attractive depth of ripe raspberry and plum fruit with liquorice, a fleck of cinnamon and bay leaf, it finishes clean and saline where the influence of limestone soil can clearly be sensed.

RIOJA 2018
93% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, 2% Viura
93% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, 2% Viura (13% alc.)
(13% alc.)

This is a blend from the four parcels of vines worked by Akutain, vinified in tank then transferred into 45% new to 6yo, and 55% 7yo and much older oak barrels which as per a long Rioja tradition come 75% from the Appalachian region of USA, with the balance from France. Aged for 20 months in barrel (six months longer than the minimum 14 months prescribed) and racked barrel by barrel twice a year it was bottled without filtration, and then aged for a further eight months in their deep under-vineyard cellar. As you’d expect this is more of a traditional Rioja, with a mix of plum and prune fruit and herbal touch with the wine's vanilla aromas soon evolving and melding into its savoury backdrop. Once again, the finish is clean and saline due to the calcareous soil. Benefits from carafeing or opening an hour before serving. For drinking now to 2030.

RIOJA 2017
93% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, 2% Viura
93% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, 2% Viura (14% alc.)
(14% alc.)

Akutain’s top wine is also a blend of their four parcels, but here there's a higher percentage from their high altitude vineyard of Gembres (650m). Cool nights and larger diurnal temperature range impact on the quality of the juice giving exquisite fruit, more acidity and ageing potential. Vinified in tank and then barrel aged in the same way as the Crianza, the Reserva receives an additional two months in barrel and four months in bottle before release. There is more structure and complexity here with spicy, plummy, dried fig fruit as well as a herbal edge; oak ageing seamlessly integrated and allows a fresh and lifted finish, with salinity keeping everything in focus. For drinking now to 2035.

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