Vineyard: A standout single vineyard wine from a small parcel planted in 1915, with north-east facing slope located in Elvillar, Rioja Alavesa.
Appellation: DOCa Rioja (subregion: Rioja Alavesa)
Varieties: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Viura.
Harvest and Production: By hand in 10 kg boxes which are (mostly) destemmed directly over the top of the 500 L barrels. The crush is done by foot to extract the must and the barrels are closed to allow them to go through a natural fermentation (no external yeast added) and maceration. Once the post fermentation is finished, the wine is pressed and put in 500 L barrels where it will remain for 2 years while undergoing malolactic conversion naturally. From the 2013 vintage, David opted to matured the wine in 225-liter oak barrels for three years.
- Phinca Lali is the source of David Sampedro’s oldest vines, planted as a 0.6-hectare parcel in 1910 and producing a mere 990 bottles in 2013. Fermented with 50% stems, this wine is denser and more tannic than Phinca Abejera, with intense, meaty, bloody flavours, muscular tannins and a chalky frisson. Drink 2021-30.
96 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2018
- The other single-vineyard red, the 2013 Phinca Lali, is named after David’s mother. It’s sourced from a 0.54-hectare, north-facing plot that is quite isolated and, therefore, very apt for biodynamic farming, and there are very few neighbors. It’s mostly Tempranillo with Viura that were hand destemmed with maybe 30% of the stems making it into the fermentation vessels—open top 500-liter oak barrels—where it fermented with natural yeasts after being foot crushed. It matured in 225-liter oak barrels for three years. It feels a little more oxidative and advanced, earthier, more concentrated and with more tannin; but somehow, I found Abejera to be livelier and fresher, and Lali suffers in comparison. It might be that it needs a little more time… 998 bottles were filled in July 2017. Drink 2019-2028.
92 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #235 (Feb. 2018)