Santa Cruz de Artazu
VINTAGE The 2008 vintage in Artazu was described by owner/winemaker Juan Carlos as one that had weather conditions that greatly affected the yields of both his old and younger-vine Garnacha. The winter months were said to have been the driest on record in the past 50 years and the cold month of March pushed back bud-break a few weeks later than usual. May showers brought relief to the hydrically-stressed vines before the return of dry weather conditions in June. July and August were also dry and mild, delaying the vegetative cycle of the vines and grape maturation by a period of about 8-10 days. It was only once the temperature began to increase during September and October that Artazu's grapes were able to enter their final stage of phenolic maturation. Overall, an adequate number of clusters were produced that have made wines of great freshness and quality.
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 Historically, the cultivation of vines had been the economic engine of the village and historical documents gave evidence to several awards won by the townspeople for producing high quality Garnacha wines.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 roundness and finesse that can be produced by high-quality, old Garnacha vines, Santa Cruz de Artazu is rich in aromatics and color. Imparting delicate aromas of currant, cassis, mint and cedar box, this wine has subtle and penetrating tannins enveloped in an alluring sweetness that leads up to a long and energetic finish. The Santa Cruz de Artazu may be consumed now or aged for up to 20 years.
VARIETY 100% Garnacha