Itxas Harri, located in the village of Monteagudo in the northern Basque region of Navarra, is a project from Ignacio Ameztoi and his long-time friend and winemaking partner, Iñaki Guelbenzu. Wines from Itxas Harri defy standard logic, as the Spanish Basque Navarra region lies inland, yet the wines have restraint and freshness with lower alcohol levels (12.5%) which we associate with the coastal areas.
This flavor profile is the result of the vineyard planted to the native garnacha and tempranillo grapes on well-drained, gravelly limestone soils in an ancient seabed at 385m in the Monteagudo village. Beltza is an elegant, lower-alcohol, refreshing wine that pairs beautifully with the grilled artichokes and vegetables for which Navarra is so famous. On its own, or paired with a Mediterranean meal, Beltza is fruit-forward, bright, and crushable.
Exceptional, uncomplicated ingredients and their ability to elevate the dining experience when paired were the inspiration for Itxas Harri. They seek to bring the rich Basque food and wine experience to the home pantry through accessibility and an unpretentious presentation of their regional wines. Itxas Harri, which roughly translates to “sea stone,” are Basque table wines made by two friends, honoring the food memories and relationships made at the communal table.
Vintage Notes – 2020 was a strong year for the native garnacha and tempranillo in Navarra, producing complex wines with bright aromatics and juicy, expressive fruit. Navarra was spared the severe fungal diseases that struck other regions, contributing to the harvest being more generous than in 2019. Summer was dry and hot, and they did not see much rain from April to October. Harvest began the week of August 24th under ideal conditions.
Vinification – Garnacha and tempranillo grapes for Beltza are 90% destemmed and given a brief pre-fermentation cold soak. The wine is then fermented with native yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with maceration throughout. It then ages in stainless steel until bottling the following spring.