Passion, tradition and finesse, along with a fiery – and very Spanish - dedication to excellence, the region of Rioja in northern Spain is synonymous with superb red wines, made from top quality Tempranillo grapes. While much of the region is dominated by grand old wineries, kept within the same families for generations, there is plenty of room for fresh, new talent in the region, too – talent such as that found at Exopto, a Rioja winery which is beginning to make some serious waves on the scene.

The concept of Bodegas Exopto was kickstarted by Tom Puyaubert; a fresh-faced vintner, who recognised that there was growing demand for a more contemporary approach to winemaking in Spain's most famous viticultural region. He believes that by taking a lighter approach with the oak aging, you can allow the stunning natural characteristics of the fruit to take centre stage – and why wouldn't you?

The cooler northern climate of the prime Rioja vineyards consistently produce grapes with plenty to shout about; from the classic Tempranillo which Puyaubert prizes in his blend for its power and structure, to the juicy Garnacha which packs in the rich, fruit flavours, and the elegant Graciano which provides the freshness.

The result is a thoroughly modern take on the greatest Spanish export, one which celebrates the quality of the terroir, the superiority of the fruit, and a no-nonsense, low-intervention method which lets the breathtaking vineyards do all the heavy lifting by themselves.

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