D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
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D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
V.P. Pago de Otazu (Navarra)
D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
D.O. Navarra (Navarra)
Otazu is along the Camino de Santiago, which crosses the northern part of Navarre. Here, the 12th-century Romanesque chapel of San Esteban, located in the heart of the manor house Señorío de Otazu, is the witness of the pilgrims' journey to Santiago de Compostela. Later, in the 14th century, they built Torre Palomar, which would become the base for the Palace of the Lord of Otazu y Yániz in the 16th century. In a dreamlike landscape, sheltered under the cliff of Etxauri, flanked by the mountain ranges Sierra de Sarbil and El Perdón, and with the river Arga as a natural border, Bodega Otazu has recovered an important part of its long history. A history where noble names and surnames like Yániz, Pedro de Berrio, Juan de Ezpeleta, Marqués de Góngora or Carlos III himself, resound. In fact, the Geographical-Historical Dictionary of the Royal Academy of History, published in 1802, says of this place that "it is located on the banks of the Arga river, in a pleasant place, at a distance of a quarter of a league from Zabalza and Ubani. It also borders with Larraya, Paternáin and Echauri, two leagues away from Pamplona on the southwest. It belongs to the Marquis of Góngora, but its governance t is like that of other villages. The church is dedicated to San Esteban and it is served by an abbot in charge of 61 parishioners who occupy 8 houses. The river Arga runs through this.”
For centuries, the vine has been one of the most important agricultural resources of the Navarre pre-Pyrenean areas, including the capital of the Kingdom, Pamplona, formerly an important winegrowing centre, where it is estimated that there were up to 2,000 farmers who lived from their cultivation. As early as the 15th and 16th centuries, the lands of the manor house Señorío de Otazu were dedicated to the cultivation and production of wines, as we can see from the utensils and presses of that time that are now preserved in the museum of Bodega Otazu. In fact, the wines of Eriete and Val de Etxauri (now Otazu) appear amongst the most outstanding ones in the files of Navarre, in the part dedicated to cooking and diet of the court of Carlos III (1411-1425).
To this wine and vineyard history, we must add an old French-style winery built in 1840 in the geographical centre of the farm. This winery had a capacity for 200,000 litres stored in oak vats, and at that time it already had 40 hectares of vineyards. Bodega Otazu was a revolution in those days, as they had separated the winery from the town centre. One hundred and fifty years later, the existing winery has been remodelled and they have built a new one that connects with the previous one.
History of the winery
In 1994, Bodega Otazu resumed the wine project in the lands of the manor house Señorío de Otazu y de Eriete. First with the replanting of 92 hectares of vineyard with the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo and Chardonnay, and later with the implementation of its new winery and its modern facilities. These were concluded in 1998, with a spectacular barrel room named "La Catedral del Vino" (The Cathedral of Wine), presided by a press from the 14th century. If we look at this press from the barrel room, we can see that it resembles an altar of wine, which led to the launching of its wine Altar in 1999. During the renovation, rescuing the old winery from 1840 was very important, and the new winery was one of the most important architectural projects in the world of wine, being recognised on multiple occasions, nationally and internationally.
The property has an extension of 319 hectares in a single farm, forming a circular preserve. Its richness and abundance of soils, and its 110.12 hectares of own vineyards with grapes perfectly adjusted to the particular terroir of the Señorío, lay the foundations for the production of wines with great character and personality.
In 2009, Otazu received the quality certification: Protected Denomination of Origin (D.O.P.) Pago de Otazu. With this recognition, Bodega Otazu became part of the exclusive group of wineries that have their own denomination of origin, given their high quality wines, made with grapes of their own and with maximum quality requirements.
Since January 2013, Bodega Otazu has made a new oenological commitment, with a new technical and advisory team, among which we can find José Luis Ruiz as the technical director. José Luis holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology, he is an Agricultural Technical Engineer and holds a Master in Management and Direction of Agrarian Companies. He specialises in working in wineries with own vineyards, and his work philosophy is to make wines in the vineyard. During the last 15 years, he has worked in different wineries in Rioja, Somontano and Priorat. Here, he has gained great experience in the production of wines with national and international varieties. Mikael Laizet is an adviser of Bodega Otazu. He holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Bordeaux, and he is part of the oenological team of Michel Rolland since 2001. He has vast experience in Grand Crus from Bordeaux, and in countries like Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Armenia. Marcelo Pelleriti is also an advisor, and he holds a degree in Oenology from the University of Mendoza. Since 2003, he is an oenologist of Chateau Le Gay and La Violette, in Pomerol, as well as of Bodega Monteviejo, in Argentina. He is currently one of the leading oenologists in Argentina, where he is an advisor for different projects.
D.O. Pago de Otazu
“Pago” means a place or rural site with its own soil characteristics and microclimate, which differentiate and distinguish it from others in its surroundings. It is usually known by a name that is traditionally and notoriously linked to the cultivation of vineyards from which wines are obtained. These vineyards have unique characteristics and qualities, and their maximum extension is legally limited by the competent Authority, according to each autonomous community. Their extension cannot be equal to or higher than any of the municipalities in the territory, or territories if there is more than one, where it is located. It is understood that there is a notorious link with the cultivation of vineyards when the name of the farm (pago) is being used regularly in the market to identify the wines obtained from it, for a minimum of five years.
“Vino de pago” refers to wines made and bottled by natural or legal persons who, by themselves or through their partners, have the ownership of the vineyards located in the farm (pago), or exceptionally and when the competent Authority authorises it, in wineries located near the farm. In this case, they must be located in at least one of the municipalities reached by the “vino de pago”, or in adjoining ones. All the grapes destined to “vino de pago” must come from vineyards located in the specific farm (pago). The wine must be produced, stored and, where appropriate, aged separately from other wines. In the production of “vinos de pago” they use an integral quality system, which is applied from the grape production to the placement of the wines on the market. The system must meet at least the requirements established for the denomination of origin.
Each and every one of the grape berries that enter Bodega Otazu come from the 110.12 hectares of vineyards that surround the winery. Their north-south orientation allows the grape bunches to achieve an excellent exposure and distribution. The farm is also divided into plots of 1 to 5 hectares, which helps control the ripeness and the optimum harvesting time. These plots are harvested separately. Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for red wines, Chardonnay for white wines, and Merlot for rosé wines, are the varieties chosen by Bodega Otazu. They have been planted strategically on each of the different soils and areas of the farm, with the only final goal of selecting them and reaching the greatest potential of each grape. We must note that there are fifteen clones of red grapes and three of white grapes, so that their characteristics complement each other and so that they provide more complexity to the wines. Another feature of the vineyards is the presence of a plant cover that naturally reduces grape production up to 45%; the first step in the selection of the raw material. On another hand, the decomposition of the marls and the alluvium soils, have managed to determine up to fourteen types of different soils, among which we can highlight fine gravels closer to the river, gravels with clay as we move away from the river, and the clayey soils as we get closer to the mountain range. Once the harvest date is set for each plot, the vineyards are harvested by hand and the grapes are transported in 12-kg baskets. When they arrive at the winery, they manually select the grapes before they are processed on a double selection table, which only allows perfect berries to go on to the next stage.
In the winery, the vinification room has 32 stainless steel deposits of different capacities where the wine goes through the alcoholic fermentation. The facilities are modern, equipped with the most advanced systems for a total control of the process. The production of high-end red and white wines is carried out through microvinifications in 225-litre barrels. This method allows them to make small lots from each area and extract the maximum potential from each plot. A special mention must be given to the barrel room, known as the “cathedral of wine”. In this underground space we can find 1,500 French oak barrels, that remain here at a natural temperature of 16ºC. These barrels come from prestigious cooperages: Darnajou, Saury and Taransaud. They only stay at the winery for four years. And lastly, Bodega Otazu has an ageing room where the temperature and humidity are controlled, and the bottles rest until they reach their optimum point to be launched on the market.
Wines from Bodega Otazu
Below is a list of wines from Otazu that you can fin at Decántalo:
- D.O. Navarra
Otazu Chardonnay is a single-variety wine. The must goes through a static settling process, and then it ferments in stainless steel deposits at a controlled temperature to maintain all its personality and varietal features. On the nose, it is intense, with a predominance of fruit. The notes of acid apple skins stand out on a background of aromas of peach, pineapple and citrus zest.
Otazu Rosado is made 100% with Merlot is made using the traditional saignée method. This allows them to respect the quality of the fruit to the maximum extent, and also to retain the personality and uniqueness of the variety. On the nose, there is a prevailing explosion of red fruit (redcurrants, raspberries and wild strawberries) and nuances of sweets. In the mouth, it is structured, with body, volume and a lot of fruit. Silky, with a fresh and aromatic finish.
Otazu Premium Cuvée is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot. The must goes through a static settling process, and then it is fermented in stainless steel deposits at a controlled temperature. After this, the wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels. On the nose, it is intense and complex, with prevailing black fruit. Notes of plums and blackberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and balsamic shades. In the mouth, it is amiable, with a sweet entry and a round tannin. An elegant finish marked by its fruity character.
Otazu “Altar” is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot. The varieties and the plots are harvested individually by hand. They are processed at a low temperature and macerated for a week in cold, before the fermentation. This wine is aged for 18 months in barrels. On the nose, it is complex, with prevailing minerality, ripe black fruit, truffle, subtle balsamic notes and cedar. Good structure, with a firm and elegant mid-palate. Plenty of material and a long finish.
Otazu “Vitral” is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. The varieties and the plots are harvested individually by hand. They are processed at a low temperature and macerated for a week in cold, before the fermentation. This wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. Its production is of around 900 bottles. On the nose, it is elegant, with prevalence of concentrated black fruit. An intense minerality, balsamic notes and well-integrated wood. This wine has a great complexity. In the mouth, it is structured but with very fine tannins, with outstanding freshness, balance, and a long finish.
- D.O. Pago de Otazu
Señorío de Otazu Chardonnay Fermentado en Barrica is a single-variety of Chardonnay. It goes through the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in new barrels made of French oak from Allier, with its lees for 8 months, with batonnage. On the nose, it is intense. It has a remarkable richness of varietal shades (citrus and pineapple), with smoked notes like caramel and toffee. In the mouth, it is enveloping, opulent and round, with a fresh finish. An elegant and complex wine, with a lot of class.
Señorío de Otazu Tinto is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot. The harvest is carried out by hand in 15-kg baskets. Each variety is picked separately. They come from plots certified as D.O.P. Pago de Otazu. It is aged for 16 months in French oak barrels. On the nose, it is subtle, dominated by black, intense and fresh fruit, with spicy, balsamic and mineral notes. A complex wine, amiable, with nuances of fresh fruit where the wood is perfectly integrated.