Ostatu Reserva is one of the purest, most transparent expressions of high altitude, mountain viticulture in Rioja Alavesa. The tempranillo grapes come from some of their oldest vineyards (50+ years) planted in the traditional goblet method, located on south-facing slopes on the western side of the village of Samaniego, over 600m above sea level, in the foothills of the majestic Sierra de Cantabria mountains. The soils are very poor, heavy calcareous clay with lots of stones and a limestone subsoil. The soils of Samaniego provide the backbone and structure for some of the most exciting and long-lived wines of Rioja. The climate is Mediterranean with strong Atlantic influences pushing in from the Cantabrian Sea, providing exceptional tension and movement in the wines. The resulting wine is a transparent expression of place and vintage destined to age gracefully for decades to come.
Vintage – 2014 was a cooler, lower-yielding vintage favoring higher acidity and a taught tannic structure. It was a challenging year where the Saenz de Samaniego family’s expertise in the vineyard was paramount to selecting only healthy grapes that were unaffected by the rains in September. Ostatu was rewarded with an exceptional 2014 Reserva by hand-harvesting perfectly ripe grapes after the rains from October 15-18th. Vintages like 2014 in Rioja Alavesa are historically long-lived, with the ability to age gracefully for decades.
Vinification – The grapes are harvested manually with a severe selection process in the vineyards. After a pre-fermentation cold soak, the wine ferments with indigenous yeasts in small stainless steel tanks for 21 days at 28°C, with regular punch-downs and remontage. The wine is then racked into 50% new and 50% one-to-two-year-old French oak barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and ages for 16 months. Finally, the assembled wine spends five months in foudres before being bottled without stabilization or filtration. Bottled: April 2016.