Felix Callejo (pronounced: kal-ay-ho) is located in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region, just north of Roa.
The Callejo family are crafting some of the finest, brightest and flavoursome Tempranillo in the ‘modern Rioja’ movement. The wines are plump, silky textured and full of fruit. The Callejo vineyards are brilliant; between 850-900 metres in altitude, south facing, rich in limestone and located in the excellent Sotillo de la Ribera area. Old vines are the norm. The viticulture is organic and everything here is done by hand, according to the minimal intervention model; manual harvesting, natural yeast fermentation, no fining or filtering. Add the next-gen passion of the two, young, well travelled Callejo siblings (more below) and the results are quite delectable. Supple, fruit pure, expressive and thoroughly enjoyable new wave Tempranillo from the heart of old Castile. It should be noted that these wines represent quite a contrast to the Alejandro Fernandez Tempranillo wines we offer – no less valid, just a different, more silken, fruit pure style.
Callejo’s ‘base wine’, Flores, is a no brainer. Pulpy, fresh and pure with mountain crunchiness, it has a rich vinous core that over delivers for the price. From a 35 year old parcel of vines, the Crianza is a classic, supple, yet punchy Ribera with the Gran Callejo and Seleccion are powerful yet seamless Tempranillo's with almost bottomless reserves of flavour. The 2008 Finca Valderoble is the first release of this brilliant new Callejo label. The story is that in 2004, Jose Felix Callejo returned to the family winery after completing his winemaking studies in Bordeaux and working under Jean-Claude Berrouet at Chateau Petrus. He planted a single vineyard to Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot on Ribera’s very highest site – on very thin topsoil cloaking a bed of pure limestone. The extreme climate here combined to produce very low yields of two lbs per vine. The vineyard is 100% organic. The harvest is done 100% by hand in small cases and carefully sorted at the winery. The natural yeast fermentation takes place in small concrete tanks and the wine is finished in new French Barriques.