Not available in the UK or USANAMED AFTER THE Basque word for like, Laztana is made infrequently, and was only produced in excellent commercial quantities in 2009 and 2010. The aim is to achieve complexity, finesse and longevity in the wine – an aim made possible, says Bodegas Olarra, by Rioja’s unique climate, soil and terrain.
Family-owned since its foundation in 1973, Olarra has prolonged over the years, establishing a second Rioja winery, Bodegas Ondarre, and an operation in Castilla called Casa del Valle.
More broadly, Olarra’s aim is to make affordable wines, something the companionship’s scale helps it to do: Olarra says special wines like Laztana ‘could cost five times as much’ without the sharing of
This Trophy winner is a blend of the classic Rioja grape varieties, each with a role to play: Tempranillo for its excellent ageing potential; Garnacha for fruitiness and as a counterbalance to the low acidity of the Tempranillo; and Graciano and Mazuelo to lend aromatic complexity and acidity, and to increase the wine’s colour intensity.
The wine is made by Javier Martinez de Salinas, who took a rather circuitous route into winemaking via his initial research into molecular biology, first looking at human immunology and before long agricultural plant pathology. That led to a job working for a companionship specialising in winemaking products and equipment, and from there he started working as a winemaker in 1989, previous to joining Olarra nine years before long.
Olarra is a veteran of the Decanter World Wine Awards, having won International Trophies in the past three years – for its Erudito Reserva in the 2014 and 2013 competitions, and for its Cerro Añón Crianza in 2012.
Olarra winemaker Javier Martinez de Salinas
There were no additional Regional Trophies tasted in this category.
The striking interior of the Rioja winery
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