Dominio del Challao Challo Rioja Alavesa Labastida 2020 750ml

SKU: 210000056842 ISBN:

Wine Information:

Country: Spain

Region: Rioja

Appellation: Rioja Alavesa

Variety: Tempranillo


Rioja is without question the most famous wine region in Spain, but the region is anything but homogeneous. The three sub-regions – Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alta – differ enormously. This wine comes from the small hamlet of Labastida in the northwest of Rioja Alavesa, the smallest and northernmost sub-region located in the Spanish Basque Country and characterized by calcareous clay and sandy soils.

The mastermind behind the Dominio del Challao winery is Manu Michelini, whose family makes incredibly fine, terroir-driven wines under the name Michelini i Mufatto at both their winery in Bierzo, in northeastern Spain, and the Argentine winery in Mendoza. The Challao is the winery's top wine. Medium ruby ​​red with violet. There is significantly more intensity in the glass than with the Garnacha, but this wine still reminds me more of Burgundy than Bordeaux on the nose. The winery is clearly on the trail of elegance. Juicy, fresh wild berries, black cherries, rose petals and black Assam tea, that's delicately smoky.

Then come violets and freshly fired clay. In the mouth, cassis, fresh blackberries and lots of black cherry again. The intense, chalky minerality is phenomenal, building up gradually on the tongue. Delicately bitter, fresh herbs and a touch of After Eight. The tannins are fine and chalky, and as soon as you feel the structure, the next wave of black cherry washes over your tongue.

This is not at all what you imagine Rioja to be in the classic sense. But this wine is a lot of fun because of its freshness and mineral intensity without being boring. On the contrary, I am convinced that it will develop gracefully in the cellar for years because it is made for a long life. Super chic fabric and without question a Rioja in a class of its own!