Domaine Arretxia is located in the appellation of Irouleguy deep in the heart of the Basque country of the Pyrenees and is run by Michel and Thérèse Riouspeyrous. They founded the domaine in 1989 by renting just 2 hectares of vines, and today the 8 hectare estate is at the forefront of wine production in the region. The vineyards are mostly planted to native grape varietals such as Tannat, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng and all is done strictly according to biodynamic principles. The sandstone soils of Irouléguy are ideal for the aforementioned grapes containing as they do iron oxide, limestone and clay. This lends a mineral intensity to the wines and the reds in particular are earthy,and spicy with pronounced tannins. The estate red is a blend of 66% Tannat, 17% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon to be precise and spends 10 months on its lees in cement tanks before bottling and is therefore unoaked.
A vibrant purple in the glass. Aromas of cassis, raspberry and liquorice. On the palate, full-bodied and hearty with further black fruit notes combined with a herbal edge and a pronounced minerality. A richly structured red with well integrated tannins, drink now or keep for a further 5 years. Try with Axoa de veau - a rich stew of veal and Espelette peppers, roasted fingerling potatoes with green herbs and a red and yellow piperade or a chunk of P'tit Basque sheep's cheese.