Domaines Lupier

Navarra, navarra Spain

Domaines Lupier was started in 2006 in Navarra when husband and wife team Enrique Basarte and Elisa Ucar left their jobs, took out a loan and began purchasing abandoned plots of old vine Garnacha around the village of San Martin de Unx. Domaines Lupier now owns 17 hectares across 27 separate plots of bush trained Garnacha. ‘Mountain viticulture’ is at the heart of their philosophy, with all 27 plots situated at 600-750 m above sea level. The oldest site was planted in 1903.

Enrique and Elisa strive to produce wines with both a sense of place and time. The rugged landscape is scattered with wild herbs and flowers, which are all reflected in the wines’ subtle and complex aromatics. The combination of high altitude, Atlantic influence and limestone soils impart an innate freshness and acidity to temper the intense concentration from the low yielding vines. The vineyards are dry farmed and certified organic, though they have been following biodynamic principles since the project’s inception. 

Domaines Lupier produce just two wines, El Terroir and La Dama. While Enrique and Elisa’s vineyard management is meticulous and sympathetically ‘hands on’, their practice in the winery remains ‘hands off’. Each plot is vinified separately in open-top barrels and vats. They perform one punch down, if at all, to ensure a delicate extraction. Both wines are aged for 12-14 months in a mix of 500 litre to 1500 litre French oak with a maximum of 6-10% new oak, depending on the vintage and plot. Enrique and Elisa taste all their plots blind following barrel ageing before deciding which sites will go into each wine.

El Terroir is produced from deep limestone soils with aromas of juniper, wild herbs, pepper spice and a core of raspberry fruit. The name is a nod to the area’s soils, which Enrique and Elisa believe define the wine’s earthy profile. La Dama is more ethereal. The vines are planted on thinner, rocky, quartz-based soils and produce even lower yields than El Terroir. As a result, La Dama has lifted floral aromatics of lavender and juicy red cherry fruit, underpinned by chalky tannins and fine vein of concentration on the mid palate. Both wines have superb ageing potential and present a rare expression of some of Navarra’s oldest vines.


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