Santa Cruz de Artazu
VINTAGE The 2010 vintage in Navarra was marked by a cold winter with heavy rains and even a touch of snow. Spring and summer were mild, with only a few scattered showers falling before July and August when the summer heat was broken up by a series of intense storms. Fruit ripening occurred very slowly, delaying harvest until early October. The resulting wines from the 2010 harvest are said to be of great quality, with ripe, prominent tannins, great structure and an excellent propensity for bottle aging.
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 Santa Cruz de Artazu are located in calcareous clay soils that stem from the tertiary era with a large presence of filamentous sandstone rocks. The ancient 70- to 90-year-old vines that go into making this wine are located at such hard-to-reach sites that it is impossible to get any machinery onto the land for vineyard management. All of the head-pruned vines are farmed manually and produce incredibly low yields of less than 2 pounds per vine, or around ¼ ton per acre. The vines are also organically farmed and a green harvest is performed each year to increase cluster viability.
WINEMAKER'S NOTES In the early 1990’s, after visiting several different villages in the D.O. Navarra, owner and winemaker Juan Carlos López de Lacalle 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 Historically, the cultivation of vines had been the economic engine of the village and historical documents gave evidence to several awards won by the townspeople for producing high quality Garnacha wines.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. He still remembers the first time he came across the Santa Cruz vines, where time froze in a silent appreciation of the calm force of nature that had shaped this vineyard for close to 100 years. An exceptional example of the lissome elegance found in wines produced by high-quality, old Garnacha vines, Santa Cruz de Artazu contains delicate aromas of milk chocolate, marzipan, cassis and fresh tobacco. Described as “the true expression of energetic red fruit that vibrates on the palate with a soft roundness,” the 2010 Santa Cruz de Artazu has well-integrated tannins and a very silky finish, and may be consumed now or aged for up to 20 years. Only 3,300 6-bottle cases were produced.
VARIETY 100% Garnacha
Wine analysis: 5.85 g/l (0.52%) total acidity; 3.84 pH; 14.5% alcohol by volume