Bodegas y Vinedos Escudero Arvum Rioja DOCa 2005
By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2005 Escudero Arvum
A Proprietary Blend Dry Red Table wine from Rioja, Spain
Review by Jay Miller
Wine Advocate # 188 (Apr 2010)
Drink 2014 - 2025
The 2005 Arvum was also sourced from a single plot with vines ranging in age from 80-100 years. The blend is 55% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, with the balance Graciano and Mazuelo aged for 16 months in new French oak. Saturated purple in color, it displays a brooding, slightly roasted bouquet of incense, scorched earth, lavender, and black fruit compote. Layered and opulent on the palate, it is loaded with savory, spicy black fruit flavors, an expansive mouth-feel, and enough structure to evolve for 3-5 years. Drink this impressive offering from 2014 to 2025. Importer: Aurelio Cabestrero, Grapes of Spain, Lorton, VA; www.grapesofspain.com
By Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
2005 Bodegas Escudero Arvum Rioja
Winery: Bodegas Escudero
Style: Red Wine
Varietal: Red Blend
By Josh Raynolds
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Sep/Oct 10
($115; 55% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo) Inky purple. The polar opposite of the Vidau, displaying scents of dark berry liqueur, incense and vanilla, plus notes of star anise and violet. Lush and creamy in texture, with velvety dark fruit flavors and mounting smokiness. This also aged in 100% new oak but here the wood makes a much stronger statement. Finishes sweet, broad and seriously long. The contrast between these two wines is striking. (Grapes of Spain, Lorton VA) -92 Points
Winery: Bodegas Escudero
Region: Rioja D.O.Ca.
Grapes: 55% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
All of the wines from Bodegas Escudero come from a large 80-hectare vineyard, Cuesta de la Reina. The vineyard ranges from 450 to 700 meters in altitude, 70% of the vineyard has rocky limestone soils with low organic matter, the remainder has irony clay soils, which tend to produce more powerful vines. Traditional viticulture without fertilizers or pesticides as well as handpicking of grapes harvest are core principles in the pursuit of quality wines. The winery doesn’t intend to pursue organic certification, yet their vineyards have been farmed organically for the last ten years. Pest management consists of sulfur and copper sprays and hormone traps for insects. They treat their own wastewater in a series of three ponds and then reuse it for irrigation. Finally in their continuing efforts of sustainability, their barrel aging facility is underground with a garden planted on top, a natural layer of both insulation and humidity control.
The grapes are sourced from a single plot (80-100 years old) grown in the Vidau method whereby varietals for a finished wine are interplanted in the vineyard. The vineyard is planted with Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha (about 55%), and Mazuelo. There are between 3000-4000 vines per hectare planted in interspersed rows and trained in goblets. Each vine is pruned to 4 shoots with 2 buds each. There were 2 green harvests, one in early June and one early August. Grapes were hand harvested in stages as they reached their physiological maturity starting with Tempranillo: October 3rd, 4th and 5th; then Garnacha and Gracaino: October 17th, 18th and 19th, finishing with Mazuelo: October 31st - November 1st. Fermentation proceeded with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks with daily punch down. Skins were macerated with the juice for 34 days followed by pressing in pneumatic press. Tempranillo underwent malo in stainless while the other varietals started malo after racking to new French oak barrels. Barrels are from a selection of French forests; all with a minimum of 3 years air drying from Radoux, Dentoux, Doreux. The wine was racked several times in its elevage of 16 months with an egg fining prior to assembly of the final blend. Bottled in July 2007.
A fourth generation family business of winery owners and viticulturists, Bodegas Escudero began in 1852. Our great-grandfather, Juan Escudero, began to elaborate wines in a wine cellar carved into a mountain with a stone wine press and six oak casks of 250 cántaras, each with the approximate capacity of 24,000 litres. His ancestors had been cultivating the vines. The elaborated wines were sold in wineskins (a cask made from the skin of a goat and tar) to the small towns of the Sierra de la Demanda ó Cameros Viejos enjoying much prestige among these towns. The elaboration of cava, however, is more recent. Benito Escudero (present owner of the winery) began to elaborate the first bottles of cava that now constitutes one of the most important products of our winery.
Location of the Winery
Bodegas Escudero is located in Grávalos, a small Rioja village with old-wine growing tradition, and located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda. In the Cameros Viejos and 700 meters above sea level, the winery has a very special microclimate with very cold winters and summers with hot days and cool nights. This difference of temperature between the days and nights of summer cause a slow ripening (maturation) that permits the grapes to obtain some acid with very fine fragrances, tannins that evolve well and an adequate graduation. Indispensable conditions generate great quality wines and cava that are destined to become young products as well as crianzas, reservas and grandes reservas.
The winery cultivates 100 hectacres of family property: 80 hectacres of varieties of reds: Tempranillo, Mazeulo, Garnacha and Graciano and 20 hectacres of varieties of whites: Viura and Chardonnay. Young red wines, the crianzas and reservas are elaborated with the red varieties. The Viura variety produces the Benito Escudero cava while the Chardonnay creates our Diora Baco cava. It is in the family estate called "Cuesta la Reina" where are planted 60 hectacres of vines. There is a total of 110 hectacres but the other 20 hectacres are planted in the estate "La Legua" of Pradejòn where "Valsacro" is located. The remaining 20 hectacres are distributed in small parcels in the jurisdiction of the town of Grávalos. The estate, "Cuesta la Reina" is a carasol of the Monte de Yerga with rock terrain and clay, calcareous soils and ferrous soils, poor in organic material and with a high quantity of lime. The rainfall is low, with large cycles of drought and a measurement of 400 litres per square meter per year. The time of the sun is abundant and favors an adequate ripening of the grapes.