This isn’t your dad’s Rioja, but it could be your great, great grandpa’s. Artuke, named after the two brothers now running the estate, Arturo and Kike de Miguel, is part of a movement of Rioja producers that, while proud of their winemaking heritage, are increasingly chafing at the constraints of the Consejo Regulador de Rioja, and are releasing wines outside of the usual classifications based only on time in barrel (Crianza, Reserva and Grand Reserva), and are instead simply releasing them under the generic Rioja designation. No mention of a village or vineyard can be made on a Rioja Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva and as Master of Wine Andreas Kubach puts it, “Surely the quality of the grapes is more important than the type and age of barrel?” Imagine a Napa Valley winery not being allowed to distinguish its geographic location or vineyard or vine age, only the length of time in barrel, and then imagine further that Napa Valley was many times its size with hugely differing growing conditions and characteristics and had never been allowed to subdivide itself. This particular Rioja comes from what would be considered a top tier subregion, but more interestingly it is made in a very different way that has been sold locally for hundreds of years. The 95% Tempranillo and 5% Viura (the local white grape) are organically grown, hand harvested and then fermented carbonically. The whole clusters are simply placed in the fermenters, sealed and allowed to do their thing for 3 to 6 months, giving the wine an extra, exotic fruit punch and lowering the tannins so that the wine can even be chilled. Flavors of flowers, and fresh raspberry, wild strawberry, banana, plum skin make a hedonistic wine that could match well with firmer white fishes like cod or chicken stew.