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Jose Gil

Jose Gil grew up in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, where his family have been grape growers and winemakers for […]

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Jose Gil

Jose Gil grew up in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, where his family have been grape growers and winemakers for generations. His grandfather, father, and uncle own Bodegas Olmaza, a small 35-hectare estate famed for its vibrantly traditional “village” wine. Before modern or traditional Rioja, there was a simpler style of whole-cluster, co-fermented, and shortly-aged wines that were as naked and honest an expression of Rioja as one could find. So it should come as no surprise that when José Gil started his own project, he would follow in his ancestors’ footsteps and be more interested in the vineyard than the cellar.

Jose’s project began with two parcels of vines and the purchase of an old cave on the outskirts of San Vicente in 2011. Generations of farmer-winemakers have used these caves to age their wines, and they’ve returned to fashion with younger winemakers – Benjamin Romeo owns the neighboring cave! His first vintage was 2013, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he felt he had discovered his vineyards’ nature and how best to nurture their expression in the cellar. In the beginning, there were just two wines, Vino de Puebla and Cóncova, and production was seldom over 2,000 bottles. In 2017 Vicky Fernández, his partner, joined the project, and they’ve been steadily increasing their production, intending to eventually top off at 6,500 bottles. To facilitate this growth, they’ve acquire additional vineyards and puchased winery in Briones where the wines are made before barreling and aging in their cellar in San Vicente.

Jose currently farms 5 hectares of vines located in the villages of San Vicente, Labastida, and Briones. Practices are manual and organic although he is not certified. The vines range in age from 5 to 130 years old with the majority Tempranillo, a small percentage of Viura. The oldest vineyard plots a co-planted with tiny percentages of other grape varieties which include Garnacha and Palomino. When the grapes reach the cellar after being harvested by hand, they are fermented either whole-cluster, or partially destemmed. All fermentations are by indigenous yeasts and extraction is gentle. After pressing the wines are racked into 225-300L French oak barrels and transported to the aging cellar in San Vicente.

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“Jose Gil is an exciting new name in Rioja and seems to be leading a group of young growers in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, as he started a little earlier, in 2016. He ages his wines in a natural cave in the village, something quite common there, and he looks for freshness, finesse, and elegance in his wines, trying to show the purest expression of his vineyards. Everything is very hands-on, from the work in the vineyards to the sales. So, I had the chance to compare his three current wines in two vintages, 2016 and 2018, cooler years that have some similarities, and I was very impressed. A new name to follow.”

– Luis Gutiérrez
Rioja, Spain
  • Location
    Rioja, Spain
  • Primary Appellation
    Rioja
  • Proprietor
    Jose Gil
  • Winemaker
    Jose Gil
  • Size / Elevation
    5 hectares / 540-600 meters
  • Age of Vines
    5-130 years
  • Farming
    Sustainable
  • Varieties
    Tempranillo, Viura, Garnacha, Palomino...
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, whole-cluster or partially destemmed, natural yeast fermentation in tank, gentle maceration, aged in 225-300L French oak barrels
  • Portfolio
    Eric Solomon Selections

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