Itxas Harri, located in the village of Monteagudo in the northern Basque region of Navarra, is a new 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 a 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 on well-drained gravelly limestone soils in an ancient seabed at 385m in the Monteagudo village. This old-vine garnacha rosé made by direct-press is appropriately named Ŕoxa, which is “rosé” in Basque. It is an elegant, 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, Ŕoxa is dry, bright, and charming.
Vintage Notes – 2020 was a strong year for the native garnacha in Navarra, producing wines that are complex with bright aromatics. 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 – The grapes are harvested in the early morning to preserve freshness. Only the free-run juice is used, with a two-hour skin maceration. The wine is then fermented with native yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 14°C to 16°C.