Izarbe
Garnacha and graciano… from the valley of the stars.

 

 

Another novelty from Luis Moya. This time we have to go to Valdizarbe, in the central region of Navarra just south of the Pamplona basin. Izarbe comes from the Basque word “The Way of the Stars”, a special tribute to the fertile region where the vines are planted.

For centuries, pilgrims have walked through these vineyards, guided by the stars, on the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

Izarbe is a blend of old grenache vines originating from various neighbouring villages such as Artazu, Tirapu, San Martín de Unx and Muruzabal. The microplots are all sloping, on poor soils.

As is always the case with Luis, the vines are free of herbicides and treatments with systemic products and are worked by hand. The varieties Garnacha 88% and Graciano 12% were harvested in 16kg crates. The grapes from the different plots are vinified separately using indigenous yeasts. Short macerations were carried out (16 days) and the wine was left in stainless steel tanks for malolactic conversion.

The wine was then transferred to used 225-litre barrels, 54-litre demijohns, amphoras and stainless-steel vats. As with all his vintages, the wine is neither clarified nor filtered, resulting in a “puro y sin maquillar” wine (pure and without make-up) as is Luis’ trademark.

The 2018 vintage, the first of this new wine, is particularly successful. Luis wrote to me the day after the blending of the different vats, barrels and amphoras. He was particularly happy with the result: “Es un cuchillo, acidez afilada. Estoy muy contento .” (the acidity is sharp as a knife, a lively acidity. I am very happy). Approximately 2,200 litres produced with bottling in September 2020.