Señorío de Otazu and Broiled Skirt Steak with Romesco Sauce
Written by Nicole Ruiz Hudson
I’m a big fan of Spanish wines. I think they tend to be great food wines, and I think they’re also extremely underrated. All together that means that Spain is also a great place to look for wine values.
Looking back through the posts I’ve shared here, I’m actually surprised to realize I haven’t posted much from Spain (other than the Ameztoi Txakolina Rosé I described here.) I have a few Spanish wines in the hopper for the coming months and I’ve certainly had quite a few amongst my 8 & 20’s (I will drop some links at the end), but somehow, they’ve been missing from this lineup. We’re going to correct that right now.
Today we’re exploring Navarra in the northern part of the country. The region runs from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains and over to the Ebro river, just across from Rioja.
Navarra has largely been overshadowed by its neighbor, but it is definitely worth getting to know. The region has been recognized in the past for its rosés–or rosados in Spanish–which are still really tasty! However, the region began to up plantings of Tempranillo and international varieties like Cab and Merlot in the 1980’s. You’ll also find some excellent Grenache. It was the driver behind all that great rosado in the past, but now the some of those vines (or those that remain) are all grown up and producing some excellent old vine Garnacha.
Winemaking here goes way back as well. Catholics would pass through the area while making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, where it’s said that the remains of St. James the Apostle are buried. These travellers wanted wine. Demand was so high that in the 14th century, restrictions had to be placed on the number of vineyards popping up to ensure that there was enough farmland to grow grains for food.