VINTAGE The 2011 vintage in Navarra was characterized by two fundamental aspects: the absence of rainfall during the majority of the vines’ vegetative cycle and reduced grape production throughout the entire D.O. The winter months began in an irregular manner, where January was cold and dry and February to the end of March was relatively warm and rainy. The months of April and May were instrumental in the development of the vines, as they brought with them the hot and dry southerly prevailing winds that fueled a rapid bud break. At this point in the vintage, precipitation was between 50 - 85% below average, causing flowering and fruit set to begin much earlier than normal. June brought with it a few scattered rain storms, providing the only water many vineyards received from March until after harvest had ended. With regard to disease, 2011 was one of the healthiest vintages on record in Navarra. Summer began with a cold and windy July, followed by a hot and dry August. The period of grape ripening, between early September to mid-October, was considered to be very good due to the lack of rainfall that prevented an undesirable outbreak of grape rot. The overall harvest was down by 18% across the D.O. due to irregular fruit set, followed by a decline in production; and in general, the 2011 vintage may be characterized as a dry and healthy year.E
VINEYARDS Located at an altitude of 1,650 feet, Bodegas Artazu's vineyards are subject to the extreme influences of an Atlantic and Continental climate. Much unlike the Garnacha that is produced in other regions of Spain, or even other parts of Navarra, the vines of Bodegas Artazu are located in quaternary alluvial soils with a very chalky subsoil. The new 5- to 15-year-old plantings are trellised, never irrigated and grown without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides. The ancient 70- to 90-year-old vines are head-pruned, produce a very low yield of less than 2 pounds per vine, or around ¼ ton per acre, and are also organically farmed. A green harvest is performed each year and fruit is dropped when needed.
WINEMAKERS NOTES In the early 1990s, after visiting several different villages in the D.O. Navarra, owner and winemaker Juan Carlos López de la Calle came upon the town of Artazu where he was captivated by the vineyards, landscape and especially the people. Historically, the cultivation of vines had been the economic engine of the village and historical documents gave evidence to several awards won by the townspeople for producing high quality Garnacha wines. Juan Carlos aspired to defend this winemaking tradition and approached this new project, his second winery in Spain, with great enthusiasm. By purchasing the few remaining ancient vineyard blocks around Artazu and by planting new vineyards with cuttings from the old vines, Juan Carlos ensured he had the raw material with which to make outstanding wines from Navarra. A consumer-friendly wine that boasts heady aromas, succulent fruit and a good natural acidity, the Artazuri Garnacha is an ideal everyday wine. Bright cherry-red in color, it has redolent aromas of ripe forest berries, lavender and violet. Well-balanced and medium-bodied on the palate, the wine is full of ripe fruit that persists through the finish.
VARIETY 100% Garnacha