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San Julian Tinto

Rioja Alavesa, Spain
Tempranillo, Graciano, Viura, Garnacha
One you must try before you die. A 96-point wine with wicked complexity and endless finish.
There are few better winemaker stories than that of Phinca Hapa's Melanie Hickman and her American bulldog Hapa.

Originally from Hawaii, Melanie fell in love with a Riojan winemaker David Sampedro of Phinca Bhilar and move to start a life in Spain. Her passion for wine has lead her to purchase her own vineyard plots and start her Struggling Vines natural winemaking project. Check the amazing full story out at
Just 1ha of 100+ year old bush vines built on steep slopes goes into making 960 bottles per year of 'San Julian'.

The vineyard is bio-dynamically farmed, using horses for the heavy duty activities. Following near pedantic levels of crop triage, the grapes are fermented in open top barrels with 40% stems included. The wine is crushed by foot and is wild fermented. Ageing takes place for 1 year in 225 French Oakbarrels.
Tasting Notes
A casual 96-point wine! It is detailed, floral and elegant with a fresh palate, very fine tannins and graphite-y edge. It's perfumed yet serious, like having a Burgundian nose and a Bordelaise palate.

This will cellar for a ridiculous amount of time but is equally enjoyable now for it's elegant power and uniqueness.
Ecological Credentials
Vegan, Organic, Biodynamic
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