Grape: Garnacha (50%), Tempranillo (40%), Graciano (10%)
Region: Rioja, Spain
You'll like if you like: Full bodied, exotic spicy red
Ageing Potential: Drink now 2025
Why You'll Love It:
The word exopto means 'desire' in Latin and this is certainly one of those hedonistic wines that conjures desire and is to be desired. Ironically this Spanish red is produced by Bordeaux expat, Tom Puyaubert. Ironic given the amount of noise the French have made regarding cheap, mass produced Spanish wines. His wines are however a good representation of a new wave of modern winemakers entering this country - moving away from the heavily American oaked, traditional barrel aged reds that leaves you with a mouth full of wood (rather than fruit)! The Bodegas Exopto project was created in 2003 with the hope of recovering old bush vines cultivated on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria, at over 500 metres altitude. The grenache is produced from 60 year old vines from Alfaro on the Monte Yerga (Rioja Baja), while the Tempranillo comes from the Rioja Alta. To add a splash of freshness, the grenache is fermented in concrete whilst the tempranillo is fermented in old wooden fourdre. Finally there's also 10% graciano, the 'noble' grape of this region, highly unusual to be found in a wine at this price point. This adds that extra bit of freshness, acidity and dimension to the wine.
Lively bouquet of dark red fruits and a hint of game that flows on to the palate. Fruit driven palate with loads of raspberry, ripe red cherries and red currant coupled with a hint of savoury, Mediterranean herbs and smokiness for added complexity and curiosity. Vibrant and fresh with fine tannins, full bodied and a long slurpy finish. Very smashable.