This excellent family estate of some 40 hectares is located in the small village of Bargota in the far northeastern corner of Rioja. The two dynamos of the family are quietly spoken and intense. Ramón is the public face and does all the travelling, while his hands-on brother Fernando is jollier, lighter, more voluble and the winemaker.
The key thing here is the height, which results in wines of tremendous fragrance and notable freshness, with five wines made from the family's 40 hectares of Tempranillo, Graciano, a little recently planted Sauvignon Blanc, and some old vine Garnacha - all grown at between 600 and 750 metres. The reds are dark and lively and comprise a pure, fresh, crunchy, unoaked Tempranillo and three Tempranillo/Graciano blends; a lightly oaked elegant and floral 70/30 blend with a slightly vegetal twist of green pepper and pronounced minerality; an alluring black fruit imbued toasty vanilla Crianza; and the tight, densely textured dark chocolate and plum scented Pagos de Arbanta - a single vineyard cuvée made from old, low yielding vines planted on stony soils with significant elements of chalk. One of the region's first organic producers, their admirably understated lemony Sauvignon Blanc is also very much worth a go. Finally, for the linguists among you, the meaning of Biurko Gorri is 'Red from the Place of Two Waters.'