Odfjell is a project undertaken by Dan Odfjell who is a Norwegian shipping magnate, whilst his son, Laurence is an architect who designed Odfjell’s winery and visitor centre. It’s an impressive place dug into the hillside so that 60% of it is underground. This means that it can be gravity led, which allows for gentler handling of the grapes but also is very well insulated allowing it to maintain a low and constant temperature without the need for active cooling technology and the unnecessary use of energy that this uses.
In the vineyards too, Oddfjell are aiming to be more at one with nature, 100% of their vineyards are organic while they are currently in conversion to biodynamic practices. Fjord horses have been brought over from Norway to work the land and produce manure which is used on the vineyards.
Odfjell are not just talking the sustainable talk and doing the bits you might look for though to be trendy or appear to be caring. There is real belief in the team that healthier vineyards make better wine, but that the environment really needs looking after. A walk through the vineyard in summer was both interesting to investigate their nature islands and corridors but also was one of those occasions where you needed to keep your mouth shut because of all the bugs!
Odfjell have chosen to work closely with old vine Carignan as one of their stars along with a number of other producers in an effort to show the quality that can be achieved when the grape is allowed to shine.
Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Bright fresh blackcurrant fruit, some slightlyy aggressive tannin and overt sweeteness. Slightly bitter on the finish. Not unpleasant.
Odfjell Armador Merlot 2010
Soft plummy fruit, some freshness and texture. Reasonable length but (as I tend to find Merlot so no slight on the producer here) a little bit dull.
Odfjell Armador Syrah 2009
Fresh fruited, quite elegant. Some slightly smoky aromas. Lively acidity, some floral violet notes. Quite appealing.
Los Espinos Carignan 2012
Bright with really good freshness. Red berry and floral notes – quite concentrated and elegant. Pretty good length and texture.
Odfjell Capitulo 2010
45% Carignan, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 6% Carmenere. Rich and developing on the nose with lots of violet and dark berry fruits. Fresh and perfumed this is quite perfumed with chalky tannins and a nice fresh finish.
Odfjell Orzada Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Pure fruited, ripe and textural Cabernet with lovely focus and elegance. Nicely made with good length it is a little hollow in the mid palate.
Odfjell Orzada Carignan 2011
Dark purple with a nice violet scented nose. Fresh morello cherry and blueberries on the palate. Good acidity and firm, slightly chunky chalky textured tannins.
Odfjell Orzada Malbec 2011
Bright damson fruit, lots of rosemary and thyme with sweet floral notes. Big chalky tannins this is quite linear and clean in style with good length.
Odfjell Winemakers Travesy 2009
43% Malbec, 32% Carignan, 25% Syrah. Deep purple and with a rich developing nose. Lots of very ripe dark berry fruit and violet with some tobacco notes. Lovely fine tannins with good length and a dry finish.
Odfjell Aliara 2010
32& Carignan, 26% Malbec, 22% Syrah, 20% Cabernet. Really fresh fruit, pencil lead and blackcurrant leaf. Quite restrained and elegant but with really good intensity and a long but lovely dry finish.