The winds of change are blowing gently through the Artadi vineyards. 2011 was the first year they strictly adhered to organic agricultural principles in all their plots. On top of this, they have started to apply biodynamic agricultural principles to some of their plots. The Artadi family have always had a deep respect for their land; when winemaker and owner Juan Carlos López de Localle was last here he told me that leaving his vines to travel felt like leaving his babies. This man truly understands the individual nature of each of his plots and how these differences and details reflect in his wines. It’s completely fascinating and inspiring to hear him talk. Juan Carlos may not speak English like a native, but he can absolutely convey his passion and knowledge with the utmost clarity. I defy anyone to spend some time in his company and not be won over by this man’s passion, skill and charming humility.
The old adage that great wines begin in the vineyard is absolutely true. A great winemaker can make a good wine from less than perfect grapes. A terrible winemaker can make bad wine from fabulous grapes, but to make a truly outstanding wine you need superb quality raw materials and the talent to make a wine that fully expresses its nature and beauty. It takes quite a leap of faith to completely surrender to the whims of Mother Nature when your livelihood and reputation hinge on getting a great natural product. It’s one thing to respect Mother Nature, it’s quite another to decommission all the weaponry you can call upon should she make life difficult. So when the Artadi people decided to go fully organic in 2011, there must have been a few sleepless nights when the weather didn’t exactly pan out as a perfect growing season. 2011 turned out to be an uncharacteristically dry year, with a cooler than normal summer which led to a long ripening season - but the grapes were really healthy. August and September saw a radical increase in temperature in the lead up to harvest so all in all this was a far from typical year in the Rioja region.
And the result? In the words of Juan Carlos: “Today, the tasting of these wines show cleanliness, transparency, fruitiness, freshness, muscular energy, the force of youth, and when we taste our emblematic plots, we can feel more deep vibrations, more reflection, voluminous sensations, text and sounds more difficult to interpret which predict a vintage of great merit”.
We look forward to their arrival.
Click here to see 2011 Artadi wines available to purchase en primeur.
Click here for some Artadi wines available for purchase now.
Click here for a list of all our wines currently available to purchase en primeur, including 2010 Artadi wines.