95 Points - Tim Atkin (Master of Wine)
When Javier Arizcuren isn’t designing wineries for Rioja’s cutting-edge winemakers, he’s crafting some of the region's most expressive wines. As both an architect and a winemaker, Javier brings his discerning and creative mind into all of his work.
Solo Garnacha Ánfora is naturally cold fermented in open steel vats and aged in amphorae (clay vessels), this makes the wine very bright and fruity with subtle earthy undertones. Think cherry and chocolate/coffee. With only 290 bottles produced annually and only 30 available to Albae, don't snooze on the opportunity to try this masterpiece!
In Javier’s own words:
“Wines aged in amphorae (clay vessels) create the purest expression of any grape variety, in this case, Garnacha. This variety was once the dominant one in la Rioja Oriental, but now it only consists of less than 10% of the planted vineyards of the area. With this wine, we are able to truly show the essence of the variety and the land; high altitude vineyards on the northern slopes of the Sierra de Yerga.”
Javier’s tasting notes are direct and to the point; Red fruit, a strong note of cherry over an ethereal earthy background.
The subtle earthy notes come from the wine being in contact with the uncoated clay interior of the amphorae for 8 months, during which the malolactic fermentation and ageing process occurs.
Javier's urban winery/architectural studio is in downtown Logroño, the capital of La Rioja. Logroño traditionally had small wineries in many of its buildings, until a few decades ago. Javier’s is now the only urban winery in Logroño.
Annual Production: 290 bottles (The club has access to 30 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Perfumed, light and lasting
Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
Ageing: In clay Amphorae for 8 months. It was bottled in July 2020
Winemakers: Javier Arizcuren
Bodega: Arizcuren Bodega y Viñedos
Region: La Rioja, Yerga subregion, Municipality of Quel
Designation of Origin: DOCa Rioja
Micro-Climate: Continental/Mediterranean - hot and dry summers and cool/mild in the winters
Elevation: 600 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 30 years old
Soil: Sandy loam
- Drink now or keep for up to 3 years
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 10 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at 14/15 Celsius
Info Coming Soon
Hizo la fermentación en depósitos de acero inoxidable, abiertos (es decir sin tapa), primero con maceración en frío durante 3 a cuatro días y después fermentación durante diez a doce días, con pisados diarios y sin apenas remontados.
La fermentación maloláctica y la crianza se hizo seguida, durante ocho meses en ánfora de barro sin revestir (esta s la razón de ese retrogusto terroso, o con leve acento de arcilla húmeda.
El vino se embotelló en Julio 2020, es decir hace un año; por tanto ha estado un año madurando en botella.
Javier Arizcuren was born into a family of viticulturists in the village of Quel, La Rioja Baja. As both an architect and a winemaker he often finds his two worlds colliding; among his architectural projects include the Bodegas of Marqués de Terán and Finca Los Arandinos and more recently he worked on restoring the famous historic calados (tunnel systems used for wine storage) of Ollauri and the buildings of las Bodegas Conde de los Andes.
After studying viticulture and enology at the university of Rioja and experimenting in making small amounts of wine, in 2011 he decided to take care of his family’s vineyards, further honing his winemaking and discovering the unique character of the Sierra de Yerga’s terroir. Javier works with 16 hectares of family vineyards ranging from 30 - 120 years old of mainly Garnacha grapes but also Mazuelo and Viura, always looking to preserve the traditional viticulture of his village.
All the parcels are cultivated using sustainable and organic methods, without any pesticides, herbicides, or any synthetic products. The plots are all located in the Sierra de Yerga, this important mountain range separates the Ebro River watershed from several other notable river valleys, such as the Duero, the Tajo (the Tagus), the Júcar and the Turia, and constitutes an important geographical vector for the Garnacha grape varieties in Spain.
In 2016, Javier opened his urban winery in Logroño, the capital of Rioja. The space serves as both his architectural studio and his bodega, where he crafts and ages his wines. He designed the multi-purpose space to be efficient, modern, clean, and it beautifully celebrates all the rituals of the artisanal winemaking process. The doors are always open to anyone who wants to see the behind-the-scenes life of Arizcuren wines.
Logroño traditionally had small wineries in many of its buildings, until a few decades ago. Javier’s is now the only urban winery remaining in Logroño.
Ratings & Reviews
Wine of the year - Reds from Rioja
95 Points - Tim Atkin (Master of Wine)
"To my mind, this is the best Garnacha release yet from Javier Arizcuren. Fermented and aged in amphoras in his stylish urban winery in downtown Logroño, it's fresher brighter and better balanced than previous releases, with the youthful enthusiasm of a parcel planted more recently. Floral, refined and racy with good “minerality” and savoury tannins. Impressive for such a young site."
91 Points - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
This year, the 2019 Sologarnacha Amphora Ageing was produced with grapes from a younger vineyard. It's "only" 13.5% alcohol (most of the other wines are much higher in alcohol) and has a perfumed and floral nose, showing some lightness after a short maceration to keep the more ethereal part of the variety. The wine matured in a clay tinaja for eight months. Only 295 bottles were filled in July 2020.