Descriptor: dry, delicate and subtle notes of berries and floral aromas.
Basic factors influencing this style:
- Varietals: Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
- Because the pigment of the wine comes from the grape skins, depending on the choice of variety of grapes the color will be different. Most traditional Navarran rosados are 100% Garnacha but today there is also a tendency to create blends with Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Terroir: cool climate is great for these wines in areas such as Baja Montaña, Valdizarbe and Tierra de Estella; soils such as marl, loam, sand, limestone and gravel
- Winemaking: “saignée or “bleeding off”, the maceration time and barrel aging.
- Maceration time – besides the choice of grape variety, the amount of time the juice spends macerating will also influence the color. Since the pigment comes from the grape skins, the time macerating and the grape variety will produce a Rosado pale or intense cheery color. In this case, the must remains in contact with the skins for just a few hours (3 – 4) to give off a hue of color as opposed to more intense cherry color where maceration time can reach 10 hours or more.
- Saignée – in Navarra the “rosados” are produced using the “saignée” or bleeding-off technique that give wines an evocative color with fresh fruit aromas (means NO blending of white and red wines which is a “clarete” style).
- Barrel aging – other styles in the market include barrel-fermented rosé wines lending a slight spicy note.
Goes well with starters, pasta, rice dishes
Navarra rosé is what made the region famous in vinous terms—and rightly so. Wines are quite gastronomic—in other words, they are both crowd-pleasing rosé sippers for a hot day and very much wines for the table. A number of bodegas are incorporating Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot into their rosado blends—or as stand-alone single-varietal rosés—with promising results. Rosados made from gnarled Garnacha vines planted early in the last century are widely regarded as the region’s finest.