Kingdom Navarra ~ Spain… Off on a new adventure to the Denominacion de Oregen… Northeastern Spain; or, an Iberian wine.
The region of Navarra has interestingly diverse terroir, comprised of three separate climates. These regions are the following:
- Northern Mountains, where you’ll find the Baztan valley
- Center appellation, where valleys are crossed by the Lumbier and Arbayún gorges and the Bank
- Southern region is a flat landscape of grasslands, without trees except for those near rivers and lakes, along the fertile valleys of the Ebro River
Recently I put out to the universe that I was on a mission to taste 100 wines for membership into The Wine Century Club, just about the time I had tasted about 64 different cultivars.
Samples began to come in with much more frequency, I must say… The power of the internet cannot be underscored from my perspective.
I shortly there after logged in wines Catherine Seda at Balzac Communications in Napa from Navarra. The image taken was taken for posterity, while listening to Pandora: My Madonna mix with Cyndi Lauper singing Girls Just Wanna Have fu-un.
Catherine writes, “Kingdom of Navarra? They are fresh and fruity–and many are under $20”
Castillo De Monjardin El Cerezo Chardonnay ~ 100 % Chard ~ SRP: $14.00
NOSE: Butterscotch, lemon, lavender, honey… I could bathe in it. I love the tartness, with rounded edges.
PALATE: Beautiful rich flavors of Chardonnay. This is a lot of wine for the price. I didn’t look at the price before I tasted it, and guessed that this wine was a lot more expensive than it is. It has been explained to me by my friend Delfim Costa of Enoforum Wines (Alentejo, Portugal) that land, labor, and products are less expensive for wines of other wine regions around the world. As a result, we’re able to have wines of more distinction and character in the US, than what we have as bulk wines coming from our California Central Valley AVA. This is why I’m still getting over the quality to value ratio of imported wines.
Bodegas Ochoa Graciano and Garnacha ~ 50/50 Graciano, Garnacha ~ SRP: $12.00
This one was soooooo-oooo good.
NOSE: The aromas dominated from the low yielding Graciano grape, I would presume, because it was just so aromatic. It exuded black fruit of the richest kind in aromas.
FLAVORS: Beautifully rich, ripe blackberries and cassis filled my mouth, having me audibly says, “Ooooo.” It was that good. I loved this one instantly.
Bodega Inurrieta Mediodia Rosado ~ Garnacha ~ SRP: $12.99
OVERALL: A hearty rosé, this very tasty wine reminded me of the days when I’d be picking raspberries at Sabattus Lake on a hot July day; it was a great break from morning water skiing (with all the others out there), with refreshing, yet very flavorful components. It was fun to go back in time through a wine’s flavor.
Bodegas Tandem ARS NOVA ~ Tempranillo, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot ~ SRP: $19.00
NOSE: Very pretty black fruit.
PALATE: A lot more flavor that I was expecting. I know Merlots can be big and gorgeous, and this one falls into that category. I’m just learning about Spanish wines, and learning that there’s plenty of flavor coming from this country. Lots of minerality, flinty, plummy, earth, Jose called it a “Manly Wine” with tobacco, leather, and chocolate…
This experience with Spanish wines was a wonderful lesson in their terroir and the subsequent wines.