Bodegas Navajas started life as Bodegas Ariona, founded in 1918 outside the small town of Navarrete in La Rioja Alta. In 1983. After five years of investing both financial and managerial support in the company, the Navajas family became majority shareholders. They changed the name to reflect the true occupant of the driving seat. Antonia Navajas Senior built the first Navajas bodega at that time, now supplanted by a state-of-the-art facility introduced by his son Antonio Jr., now in charge. The wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged in new oak barrels.
The modern facilities include three ageing cellars for 10,000 barrels and a bottle ageing cellar for 200,000 bottles. What sets Navajas apart from many other Rioja producers is its attention to detail during every stage of the process. From monitoring the 150 ha of their growers’ vineyards in Rioja Alta, to hand-harvesting grapes and vinifying it.
Navajas get their hands on some of the finest fruit from Rioja’s best vineyards. They used to sell on the fruit to the big names including CVNE but now, wisely, have decided to keep it for themselves. Unsurprisingly the Rioja made here is quintessential – soft, round and oaky. The approachability of Antonio’s wines, which combine trademark fresh fruit and clean oak characters. All the red wines are 80-85% tempranillo with garnacha and mazuelo (aka carignan) making up the balance.
Navajas Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 is a wine of great character and complexity. Intense and mellow fruit aromas and flavours balanced with rich oaky nuances and an elegant finish.