The 2018 Finca de Los Locos comes from a single vineyard in the village of Baños de Ebro, a terrace planted in 1981 at 120 meters above the river with sandy and gravel soils with a high content of limestone. The varietal breakdown came to 78% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano and 2% Viura that fermented destemmed but uncrushed with indigenous yeasts and matured for one year in 500- and 600-liter oak barrels and a 3,500-liter oak foudre. As with the other wines, it improved tremendously with one hour in the glass. This is a little riper and more immediate than others of the single vineyards, and I would group this with El Escolladero rather than the others. These two have a common profile (all four wines are fermented in the same way), more powerful and a little more fruit-driven because of the soils (gravel here) and more exposition to the sun and the higher percentage of clay at El Escolladero. The long and complete cycle made the grapes ripen thoroughly, and the wine feels quite round, with polished tannins and ripe flavors and with structure over the chalky backbone. 10,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020.
Score: 93+ points -- Luis Gutierrez, Robertparker.com, Oct 2020
This small 22 hectare estate is spread over 32 different vineyard plots in the villages of Baños de Ebro and Abalos which makes it one of the smallest and most carefully run in the district. The difference in climate, altitude and soil types between the plots bring rich benefits and distinctive nuances to the character of each wine product at the estate. This is backed up by the lack of trellising in the vineyards and a reliance, even with their oldest vines, of bush vine plantation and hand picking of the grapes into small containers. The Bodega in its current incarnation came into existence in 1991 when Miguel Blanco and his wife, Conchi, broke with a hundred years of family tradition and began to bottle their own wine. Up until that time the grapes and juice had been sold off to other producers. Over the years the passion of Miguel and Conchi influenced their sons, Arturo and Kike, to take over the running of the winery. With a dedication to blending grapes and producing wines sourced from the different areas their vineyards are located, the family has set aside the traditional Rioja classification system. While this was a difficult decision the brothers wanted to maintain greater control in the maturation and release of their wines so that they could adjust the ageing length and barrel ageing requirements to suit the nature of their wines more precisely. The brothers aren’t ones to shy away from a challenge and as such they are always on search for new vineyard sites, either existing or that they will plant, that are located at higher elevations. The goal as always is to adapt the vineyards to their grape growing style with the aim to continue to craft their lovely, pure expressions of terroir driven wines from Rioja. This is a unique find and we look forward to sharing the wines with you.