Bodegas Exopto Horizonte de Exopto – crafted from predominantly old-vine Tempranillo (alongside 10% Garnacha and 10% Graciano) – is a blend of a dozen plots of old vines from Ábalos in the Rioja Alta, close to Haro. The Garnacha was previously from Rioja Baja, but today all the fruit comes from this cooler terroir, where the age of the wines and cool limestone soils combine to ensure ripe intensity, yet elegant fruit and fresh acidity.
It’s fermented in cement vats with a short post-ferment maceration (one week) and half of the wine fermented in 600 litre demi-muids and the rest in barriques for one year.
Luis Gutiérrez described the 2014 – ‘This could be the prototype of serious, straight wine from Haro. Classical or modern? This is just great Rioja.’ The new vintage comes from a warmer ‘Mediterranean’ vintage, yet remains focused on exuberant fruit flavours of bramble and blackberry, with a dusting of fruitcake spice and a sappy, almost salty finish. Tom used some under ripe Grenache to contribute acidity, so while juicy and mouth filling, the wine effortlessly circumvents the plumpness of the vintage.