Founded in Fuenmayor by a group of like-minded friends in 1998, Bodegas Altanza has, from its inception, had the single intention of making authentic Rioja wines with a modern twist. Rioja wines that are able to express terroir, grape variety and tradition in a pure and sophisticated way. This philosophy has been applied with particular attention when crafting the winery’s Reservas, whose production sits upon three core premises: the use of estate-grown fruit only, a focus on Tempranillo and the thoughtful use of French oak.
The rule of exception
These are the building blocks for the creation of Bodegas Altanza’s four flagship Reservas: Altanza Reserva, Altanza Familia, Altanza Club and the Spanish Artist Collection. Yet, although the underlying principles are the same, each of them offers a particular expression of Tempranillo, resulting in different and distinctive age-worthy Rioja wines. Together with the Gran Reservas in the winery’s range, the four Reserva wines make up 50% of the winery’s production – a daring quality-focused proposition, that sets it apart from most of its counterparts, where focus is often placed on high volume, young wines.
A narrative with chapters
Because these wines are embedded in the estate’s identity, the story of the Reservas of Bodegas Altanza offers a complete and perfect overview of the producer’s history and evolution. It all began with the eponymous Altanza, the first Reserva the winery produced, first released in 2001. Elegant, with richness of fruit balanced by velvety tannins, and with lovely persistence, the wine encapsulates Altanza’s style in a straightforward and unpretentious way.
Its successor was Altanza Familia, a more modern expression of Reserva with extended ageing, following 18 months in barrels, in foudres and in bottle prior to release. This lends it a particular finesse, underlined by beautiful freshness and velvety tannins, with finely carved black cherry, liquorice, dried fig and tobacco flavours, topped by a layer of pepper and clove.
Having received a 96-points nod from Decanter in 2023, the award-winning Altanza Club, started as a limited release wine available to members only. It has been made available to the wider public since 2005, due to popular demand following outstanding reviews from international critics. With production limited to 183 barrels (French new oak), members can buy a whole vessel and have the wine tailor-finished for special events, gifts or landmark dates.
Last but not least, the Spanish Artist Collection is a special series, released in exceptional vintages only, now especially sought after by collectors. Launched in 2001, it quickly turned heads for its masterful marriage of winemaking and artistic excellence, with each vintage depicting the works of renowned Spanish artists. The current edition – Velázquez Reserva 2011 – is the sixth to be released. The product of the excellent 2011 vintage, it features paintings by Diego Velázquez, the leading painter of the Spanish ‘Golden Age’. These truly are Altanza’s masterpieces and long may its harvests yield such works of winemaking art.