By Kori ~ October 7th, 2015.
Ysios is a boutique winery in the Campo Viejo family, exclusively dedicated to the crafting of Reserva wines made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. Located in Laguardia in the Rioja Alavesa sub-region of Rioja, Spain, the picturesque Ysios winery was created by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and opened in 2001. The name Ysios pays tribute to Isis and Osiris, the Egyptian goddess and god closely related to the world of wine.
Roberto Vicente was promoted to chief winemaker at Ysios earlier this year. He has worked closely with Elena Adell at Campo Viejo since 2008. Roberto was born in Bilbao but has lived in Logroño since he was a kid. He studied Oenology at the University of La Rioja. He gained experience at various Rioja wineries and then worked in New Zealand and Australia before returning to Spain.
During my press trip to Rioja earlier this year, I had the pleasure to meet Roberto and get a first-hand look at the Ysios operation. Not surprisingly, like Campo Viejo, the attention to detail in both the vineyards and winery are evident at Ysios. Ysios only crushes grapes from Rioja Alavesa and controls their whole project from vineyard to bottle.
While Campo Viejo is the #1 Rioja producer in terms of sales worldwide with annual production at 2.1 million cases, Ysios only produces 100,000 bottles per year. Ysios makes three wines: Reserva which is its flagship wine, Limited Edition which is a limited numbered bottling that is not produced every year, and Club Ysios which is only available to its club members. Unfortunately, this limited production means that the Ysios wines are not widely available in the United States. In fact, the Reserva (SRP $35) is the only one you might find in the U.S. and only in select markets.
If you do happen to see an Ysios wine on the shelf at a wine shop or on the wine list at a restaurant, I definitely encourage you to give it a try. The Ysios wines I sampled were lovely with intense fruit yet well-balanced with silky, smooth tannins and good mouthfeel. And, if you find yourself in Rioja, Spain, I encourage you to visit Ysios. They do get many visitors, though, so tours must be booked in advance.
Filed under: Red Wine, Spanish Wine, Tempranillo, Wine Travel, Wines Over $25