A Taste of Navarra Wines

Today we’re taking a quick trip to northern Spain’s Navarra DO (Denominación de Origen) situated south of the the Pyrenees Mountains. The region is known for its bright rosé wines, a small amount of white wine and predominantly red wines made using Tempranillo and Garnacha along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These are wines for every season to serve with a variety of meals. We received these wines as tasting samples.

We first took a close look at this wine region situated within the autonomous region of Navarre (Navarra in Spanish) back in April 2018 when we prepared a meal to accompany three wines from from the region. That was springtime and this is winter, but these are wines with a range of flavors suitable to any season because they pair so well with food. Substitute oven-roasted meals for grilled chicken, lamb or beef and you’re in business.

2018 Bodegas Ochoa Calendas Rosado, Navarrabrilliant raspberry in the glass with aromas and flavors of perfectly ripened strawberries and raspberries. Notes of grated citrus pith linger on the bright and clean finish. 13.5% abv. SRP $12

What’s not to love about this dry rosé? The color is lovely in the glass, the flavors are bright, flavorful and layered and the price is difficult to argue with. Sure, this rosé is made for a warm afternoon, but don’t discount its suitability for a chilly, grey day. It will brighten a meal of roasted chicken, pasta or charcuterie. This is the second vintage of this lively rosé we’ve tasted and enjoyed.

Garnacha (70%) and Tempranillo are left to macerate on the skins for up to 6 hours before the juice is bled off and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.  

2016 Bodega Inurrieta Cuatrocientos Crianza, Navarradark ruby in the glass with aromas of dusty earth and dark fruit. Flavors of plums, blackberries, currants, cedar and tar are supported by drying tannins and earthy notes in the background. The body is medium and the length medium. 14.5% abv. SRP $18

As you can see from the back label the blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Graciano, 6% Syrah. The wine was aged in French and American oak for 14 months. This is a friendly red wine suitable for pizza, sausage pasta or braised meats. It will please a wide variety of palates at a very reasonable price.

2015 Bodegas Nekeas Vega Sindoa Cabernet Sauvignon, Navarradark ruby in the glass generous aromas of red and dark fruit. Flavors of juicy blackberries, cherries and blueberries are supported by earthy notes and juicy acidity. Tannins are smooth and well integrated in this medium-bodied Cabernet. 13.5% abv. SRP $10

This bright Cabernet is so sippable and easy to love. The combination of bright fruit flavors and nice acidity are a winning combination. Based on the lively flavor profile of this wine it is difficult to believe it is from the 2015 vintage. Also unbelievable is the SRP of $10 (I looked online to verify it wasn’t a typo from the Wines of Navarra and found prices ranging from $13 to under $9 in the US.)

Hillside vineyards sit at 1600 to 2000 feet above sea level with complex, mixed soil types. The climate is described as continental with both Mediterranean and Atlantic influences. Aging took place in new to third-use French oak for 13 months. This wine is a bargain and will pair nicely with roasted pork or braised beef dishes or lamb stew.

There’s no time like the present to be sipping wines from Navarra.

Cheers!

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