A blend of Merlot (65%), Tempranillo (25%) and Romé (10%)
The wine is aged for 8 months in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered.
Like the winery name Bentomiz, which comes from the ancient castle on the mountain top opposite, Ariyanas is a place name – that of a Moorish hamlet that was next to the vineyard before the Reconquest. The word comes from the Arabic for “aromatic”, which is appropriate since Bentomiz’s wines are definately aromatic.
Dark crimson colour and spectacularly fragrant with fruity aromas of cherry and wild blackberry with hints of violets. The palate is of delicious mature fruit, sweet tannins and spicy hints. A bold and vivid wine that’s fresh and seductive.
Perfect with strong braised meat – eg oxtail with parsnip cream.
About the Producer
Bodegas Bentomiz is a boutique winery in the hills of Malaga – a rugged landscape of steep vineyards and spectacular views. Sheltered by the Sierra Tejeda mountains to the north, with the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the area provides the perfect conditions for producing fresh and delicate wines – the emphasis is to create subtle styles, eschewing high alcohol and too much oak in favour the mineral and saline character from the land and sea.
Dutch couple Clara Verjeij and Andre Both emigrated to Andalucia in 1995 in search of a warmer climate and more prospects for Andre’s building and engineering business, with Clara setting up a language school in nearby Competa. But as they built their new home in an area with centuries of wine making tradition, a new idea emerged. Their property in Sayalonga had an abandoned vineyard that, as wine lovers, they restored for personal use producing their first 700 bottles in 2003.
Starting with this ‘vino del terreno’ a simple, local, hobby wine they followed up instructions from locals about growing grapes and making wine. As soon as they saw the potential in the estates indigenous old vine Moscatel de Alejandria and Rome grapes they decided to be more professional. Clara became a full time winemaker, whilst Andre developed the restaurant side of their business in the Bauhaus-style winery built in 2005
The estates 80 to 100-year-old vines, with more recent additional plantings, flourish in the special Terruno Pizarroso slate soils, at heights of between 500m and 800m. There is little, though sufficient, winter rains (recently just 5 days!) and long, dry summers; but the heat is softened by sea breezes – being only 7k inland.
At Bentomiz, the vines grow in bush form, known as ‘en vaso’. This ensures that the leafy top branches of the bush afford essential shade to the fruit growing underneath. Due to the low humidity of the area, the grapes can ripen low to the ground without the risk of rot. Bush vines also grow very deep roots, reaching the water table that other vines would not achieve in this region of low rainfall.
The rugged landscape is not easy to work – mechanisation is not possible, harvesting the steep slopes is by hand and usually taking place in the hottest part of the year in mid-August.
Once harvested, the grapes are dried, like raisins, on paseros or on floating racks which allows the air to move over the top and underneath the grapes. Bentomiz has successfully experimented with a combination of modern and traditional vinification techniques. Many of their processes vary from the norm, with great success, but has taken a great deal of experimentation along the way. Wines are fermented in stainless-steel, temperature-controlled tanks. Some are aged in oak barrels; others ‘on the lees’ in stainless-steel tanks.
Over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe serve their Ariyanas wines.