THE WINE: FROM HARVEST TO BOTTLE:
XdT FROM HARVEST TO WINE MAKING
XdT is a singular wine, not only just because where it has come from. We make only a very limited quantity, in numbered bottle, which allows us to focus on making a highly innovative wine. Some of the distinctive qualities of XdT are:
· The use of the classical Rioja varietal; tempranillo (90%), grown in one of the prime areas of the denomination thanks to its soil and climate.
· The complement of other varietals (10%), which are ideally suited to the chalky soil and yet are rarely used in Rioja, adding much to the originality and complexity of XdT.
· The amount of care taken in the picking the grapes, resulting in such low yields (3,500 kg/ hectare), considerably below regional allowances, but ensuring that even during adverse weather conditions, only the most mature grapes are used.
· After the maturity of the grapes is analysed, they are then picked by hand and placed in 18 kilogram crates, ensuring that they arrive unharmed for the first selection at the vineyard.
· A second manual selection ahead of de-stemming.
· The use of gravity: after de-stemming, the grapes fall directly into an oak fermentation vat, without using any pumps and avoiding putting the grapes under any form of artificial pressure.
· The pre-fermentation maceration is carried out firstly at a low temperature in a 60hl oak vat, for the tempranillo, and in 600l oak barrels in the case of the other varietals. During fermentation, the temperature is strictly controlled to ensure the best extraction possible.
· The maceration-fermentation of tempranillo and the other varietals is done separately, allowing the yeast content of each one to retain and develop its own characteristics.
XdT FROM BARREL TO BOTTLE
After the fermentation, a long maceration and once pressed, the wine is then placed in 225 litre oak barrels for aging.
XdT is a pioneer in the introduction and use of high quality Spanish oak (sourced in the northern region of Navarre, close to the Pyrenees) for the aging of Spanish wines. This project has been developed with the Ministry of Education and Science, in conjunction with the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA).
The oak used, Quercus Petraea, has been grown for centuries only in specific areas and each year only very few trees are felled. The wood is aged for 36 months before being made into barrels.
Analysis has demonstrated that this oak with extra fine grain has exceptional qualities. It has a higher level of aromatic components than the other superior European oaks tested, adding greater singularity to the blend.
The wine is kept in oak for 15 months. XdT also uses 50% French oak and this combination adds a great deal of complexity to the wine.
Whilst in oak, various processes occur, including the malolactic fermentation with fine lees and the manual ‘batonnage’ of each barrel. Lastly the wine is bottled and aged at the winery.
The corks we use are of a specific and guaranteed quality, and size (54mm x 24mm). They are treated with the latest technologies.
XdT cellar was hewn out of the rock many centuries ago. Throughout the year it maintains an optimum temperature and humidity for both the production and storage of wine. The temperature ranges between 9º and 14º Celsius, with a humidity level of between 80% and 85%.
Annual production stands at approximately 480 cases per year, varying on the weather conditions of each vintage. This tiny production is bottled in singles, magnums and double magnums.