Article by Michelle Williams
Navarra is one of Spain’s most ancient wine regions. Historical evidence dates grape growing back to 2 BC when ancient Romans built wineries there. The wines gained prominence in the Middle Ages. By the 18th century viticulture was the main agriculture in the region, and when the phylloxera outbreak hit France, Navarra benefited from increased wine sales. A wine region as old and prominent as Navarra, why don’t more wine consumers know and drink Navarra wines?
2015 Bodegas Principe de Viana Edicion Rosa ($21): Crafted of 100% Garnacha; medium salmon with orange and brown hues; pronounced aromas of white stone fruit, orange zest and blossom, jasmine, dried apricots, honey, and fresh strawberries; fresh and crisp on the palate, lively and refreshing with high acidity that coats the palate and creates a long, mouthwatering tart finish.
2015 Bodegas Principe de Viana Roble Navarra Spain ($11): Crafted of 100% Garnacha; medium+ ruby; pronounced aromas of violets, baked cherries, black raspberries, and currants, baking spices, fresh tobacco, dried herbs, and vanilla; silky youthful medium+ tannins balanced with medium+ acidity, full body, rustic yet pleasing; long spicy finish.
2012 Bodegas Ochoa Crianza Navarra Spain ($23): Crafted of 100% Tempranillo; deep ruby; pronounced aromas of dried rose and herbs; stewed plums, blackberries, cherries, and currants, damp underbrush, leather, tobacco, touch of funk; rich and round on the palate, rustic yet delicious; high grippy tannins, high acidity, full body, long rustic earth finish, a great wine to enjoy with a steak.
2008 Bodegas Ochoa Reserva Navarra Spain ($33): Crafted of 55% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Merlot; deep garnet with scarlet hues; pronounced aromas of dried roses and herbs; cooked dark cherries, blackberries, plums, and currants, sweet baking spice, smoke, damp leather, and roasted espresso beans; nice tension between rustic and elegance, fruit and earth; full body, high tannins and acidity, long juicy finish.
2015 Bodegas Vega Del Castillo Garnacha Cepas Viejas Navarra Spain ($8): Crafted of 100% Garnacha; medium+ ruby; medium+ aromas of fresh roses, bright cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, sweet baking spices, ash, leather, and milk chocolate; lively on the palate, fresh and bright, medium youthful tannins and medium acidity, smooth on palate, medium+ body, long finish.
2013 Bodegas Vega Del Castillo Capa Roja Roble Navarra Spain ($10): Crafted of 100% Tempranillo; deep ruby; medium aromas baked cherries, raspberries, blackberries, black currant leaves, forest floor, sweet baking spice, chocolate, leather, and vanilla; full body, youthful grippy high tannins that feel a touch hot on the palate, high acidity, full body, long spice driven finish; another wine ideal with a hearty meal such as pasta or steak.