Summary of Juan Carlos López de Lacalle's appraisal of the 2011 vintage
In spite of the difficulties and the suffering which were brought about by the extreme drought of this year and the abundant rainfall during flowering, especially in the first year of a firm, definite and total commitment to organic farming in all his parcels, Juan Carlos López de Lacalle recognises the greatness of Mother Nature and describes the 2011 vintage as a harvest that offers us wines which are clearly fruit-forward and fresh, with lovely enveloping tannins, and a vintage with great merits for wines from the most emblematic parcels.
The 2011 harvest is the first for which Artadi have rigorously applied organic farming criteria in all their parcels. It is also the first where they have started to use, in specific vineyards, biodynamic farming practices. Organic and biodynamic agriculture now represent a top priority objective for Artadi. This commitment demands great human and financial effort, and a substantial change both in vineyard management and in mentality; but it is needed in order to be able to maintain the true character of the agricultural environment, of the flora and the fauna, and to achieve natural balance in the soils which will finish up being reflected in some great wines, full of unique sensations.
2011 was an extraordinarily dry year, due to climate change or to the peculiarities of that particular year. Winter was very dry and the vegetative cycle started off with scarce water reserves. Copious rains during the months of March and April ensured that bud break was a little more energetic than had been envisaged, although the presence of rain at the start of flowering caused fruit set a certain degree of difficulty.
The temperatures during the summer period were very low and slowed down plant development and maturity, a situation which radically changed during the months of August and September, with high temperatures and harsh water stress, especially in parts located in the south of the district, which raised very considerable concerns for the organic cultivation.
Eventually, the pledge not to fight against natural forces but to work with them brought about an extraordinary symbiosis and, as a result, nature gifted us this year some wines which convey cleanness, transparency, fruit, freshness, muscular energy and all the power of youth.