2012 Viña Ilusión Glou, Glou by way of Rioja
It is rare to find a pure and unadulterated wine from Rioja. While the region has the most illustrious reputation in wine growing Spain, unfortunately, the wines are so often overly manipulated that its identity has lost its sense of place. This is what makes the beautifully non-interventionist Rioja of Viña Ilusión so exciting; their wine is simply the essence of their vineyard and the way it’s farmed.
Martín Alonso and Gloria Plaza founded Viña Ilusión in the Baja subzone of Rioja in 1992. They planted their limestone (with iron and clay) 5 hectare vineyard at 700 meters in the foothills of Mount Isasa, one of the highest elevations of the region. They overlook the land, drawing inspiration from the writings of Masanobu Fukuoka, the author of the The One Straw Revolution and pioneer of “do-nothing” natural farming. Martín even went as far to journey to Japan to learn from the master himself in 1985, way before many of the new crowd of devotees. The finca also incorporates elements of biodynamics, they fight against monoculture with fruit trees and with the help of solar and wind power to make one of the very few certified organic vino de cosechero in Rioja.
Martín is fanatical about the importance of maintaining a chemical-free vineyard to be able to ferment their wines without the addition of commercial yeast. Currently, they put all of their effort into one deliciously pure unoaked Tempranillo-based wine. It is destemmed, wild yeast fermented in tank, and bottled with minimal amounts of SO2, around 35ppm. Viña Ilusión is un vino sin maquillaje, or a wine without makeup. A wine of freshness, sheer drinkability, and mouthwatering minerality.
If there is such a thing as an idyllic Rioja to put into a porrón or a bota guzzle for pure refreshment, Viña Ilusión would be it.
2012 Viña Ilusión: From a 5 hectare vineyard at 700 meters elevation in the Rioja Baja subzone. It is certified organic, wild yeast fermented and bottled with little amounts SO2. This is an unoaked Tempranillo with tremendous purity and drinkability, floral notes, citrus, and a lovely mouthwatering minerality. A perfect Rioja to drink on it’s own or to pair with pizza, embutidos, grilled and roasted meats. Break out the porrón! 2,500 cases.