Jesus Madrazo is a winemaker of impeccable skill and great charm, and is well known to Wine Society members for his sterling work over the years at the Contino estate founded by his father. In 2017 he left Contino, now under the ownership of CVNE, and joined the team at Viña Leizaola making El Sacramento, a single-vineyard Rioja in the Alavesa region close to the charming hilltop town of Laguardia.
It is one of the district's best areas and El Sacramento is in itself an ancient vineyard first planted in 1680. Replanted in the 1980s it was acquired by the current owner (whose maternal family is from San Sebastian not far to the north) in 2011. The 11.5 hectares of vines are dominated by tempranillo, with graciano, garnacha (both tinta and blanca) and maturana blanca in support.
The El Sacramento is a modern style of Rioja, fully displaying the potential of this superb vineyard with Jesus at the helm, but with massive potential yet to be explored. All the grapes are hand-picked and the wine is aged in new, French oak barrels for 17 months before bottling.