Oxer Bastegieta is a rockstar and we are definitely amongst his ‘groupies’. Oxer always wanted to make wines in Rioja Alavesa, the Basque area of Rioja, and in 2005 he took the plunge and moved to the area. In 2009 he made his first wine with grapes from old vineyards which had been purchased from growers in the area. Convinced of the singularity of these old vines in the region, Oxer began buying some of these old vineyards to create unique wines with loads of depth and soul. Artillero is from a centenary vineyard named in honour of the former land owner who was a gunner in the civil war. This has bags (and we mean bags) of bramble fruits, blood orange, dried fruits and herbs and roasted meat. Finishes fresh and long. Under 2,000 bottles made.
Robin says "Oxer makes truly distinctive wines in the heart of the Basque Country. Rioja Alavesa is higher in altitude than other areas of Rioja and as a result, its wines tend to have good underlying freshness. But Artillero still delivers lots of fruit and depth with a savoury, appealing touch. Vinified in a concrete egg, stainless steel vat, amphora and open barrel with native yeasts, it is hard to get more artisanal than this."