“Diego Magaña from the Magaña family in Navarra has a small project in Rioja, where this year he presented two wines. He has one hectare of old vines in Laguardia, 1.3 in Elvillar and he also buys grapes from these two villages to produce 11,000 bottles in 2018.
He has worked the vineyards with a horse and without using herbicides since day one, and the focus is to recover old plots, replacing missing vines and Calagraño (a low-quality white gape) with a massale selection from the best plots. He’s also buying land to plant new vineyards, also with a massale selection. In the winery, he works with stainless steel and oak. The barrels are mainly 500-liter ones, but the idea is to move toward larger sizes; he just purchased a 4,000-liter one and hopes to get some 3,000-liter ones too. But often the plots are too small for these sizes. 2018 was a challenging year (mildew and frost), but saving those (not an easy task), along with generous yields and a late ripening, allowed for a perfect ripening of the grapes, delivering perfect grapes to produce slightly lighter and fresher wines, the kind of Rioja I love to drink. These are good examples of it! Magaña has talent; he’s making great wines already, and he will do his best. A name to watch.”
There is a new wine, the 2018 Anza Esp 1, produced with grapes from small plots of vineyards that Diego Magaña considers special for whatever reason, three or four plots that always over-deliver. In the old vines, he has different biotypes of Tempranillo and some Graciano, 8% to 10% Viura, and Garnacha from different soils, all fermented in stainless steel and open-top 500-liter oak barrels with some full clusters and matured in used oak for 14 months. The two wines have a similar profile, which is all about finesse and detail, but perhaps this is subtler and a little more mysterious and takes a little longer to show its true colors. There is a little more concentration and clout within the elegant style of the wines (that also follow the profile of the wines from Bierzo), and there is a little more of everything but always in balance. It’s textured; it has a fine thread, with a velvety mouthfeel; and there is a little more concentration, more nuance, more depth and more length. It has a combination of power and elegance but with spark, and it’s symmetric and precise, like a laser cut. This is truly superb. Bravo! 2,327 bottles were filled in March 2020. Drink 2020 – 2035. – 96 points, Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez October 30, 2020).
Great Burgundian bottles waxed dipped.