This week, I’m delving into a range of wines from the Spanish region of Navarra.
This region, which is located east of La Rioja, is only about 120 miles from north to south and 60 miles east to west, but it shows a wide range of soils and microclimates. With the Pyrenees Mountains to the north and the Bardenas Reales badlands to the south, the average vineyard in Navarra sits at about 1,300 feet in elevation, and growers produce a variety of classic Spanish and international grape varieties.
Most of the wines in this report fall into that “bargain” range of $10-$15, but I found the quality and value to be solid. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
2016 Bodega Inurrieta Sauvignon Blanc Orchidea– Spain, Navarra
Light gold color. Super bright aromatics with lemons, ruby red grapefruit, some guava, honeysuckle, cut grass. Medium-bodied, slightly creamy with plump fruit (peaches, guava), but moderating acidity. Lots of cut flower stems, some honeyed tea, grass and oregano. Simple, delicious, summer- and salad-friendly stuff. (86 points IJB)
2015 Bodegas Berceo Viura Mas de Berceo – Spain, Navarra
Pale lemon color. Nose shows tart lime, green apple, saline and some white pepper and green grass. Medium-bodied, bright acidity, a lighter, steely style with flavors of lime, lemon and green pears. Notes of whipped honey and cut flower stems. Light, simple, pleasant wine made from the Viura grape. (85 points IJB)
2015 Castillo de Monjardín Chardonnay El Cerezo Unoaked– Spain, Navarra
Medium yellow color. Nose of honeyed tea, yellow apples, dandelions and nettle. Medium-bodied and clean with crisp acidity and plump fruit (peach, yellow apple, some lime juice on top). Notes of white and yellow flowers, some nougat and honey woven in but this is a tangy, lighter, shellfish-accompanying style of Chardonnay. (87 points IJB)