The Sáenz de Samaniego family has been farming in Rioja Alavesa since the 16th century. Bottled wines bearing the Ostatu name first appeared in 1970, when Doroteo and María Asunción Sáenz de Samaniego were at the helm. Four of their six children modernized the estate in 2002, with invaluable input from Hubert de Boüard de Laforest of Bordeaux’s Château Angélus.
Whereas many Rioja rosados are by-products of red wine production, Ostatu takes an “intentional” approach to its rosé: This is a “mountain wine” sourced from Certified Organic vineyards at more than 600 meters of elevation, combining 63% Tempranillo, 35% Garnacha, and 2% of the white Viura. A short skin maceration followed by a long, slow fermentation on native yeasts in stainless steel.
There’s lots of texture and depth here but also the all-important snap and twang that separates the best rosé wines from the sweet, flabby pack. Deep rosy pink color and lots of juicy, ripe fruit notes, including watermelon, raspberry, cherry, rose petal, fennel, and light spice. Given its Spanish origins, paella or other dishes incorporating fresh shellfish would be great choices.