Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Report from ... Wines of Navarra Tasting - October 15, 2014

About the Region ...

Today opened with a slide show seminar introducing all in attendance
to the region of Navarra, Spain, entitled:  "The Wines of Navarra, WOW!"
and labeled as the "first significant promotion of our wines" in Canada.

When talking about the region the one thing that gets everyone excited
is the food, and that's pretty much where they began.
Then they moved on to the main facts about the region:
like it is one of the oldest DO in Spain (1933)
and there are 2500 growers and 100 wineries

The region is still primarily using indigenous grapes
which helps to make their wines unique.
There was a breakdown of red and white wines and the varieties used;
note the 90% red and only 10% white wines produced.

Another interesting fact is the amount of Rose produced in the area (30%)

The Wines of Note ... (in no particular order)
Bodegas Albret 2009 Abret Vina de mi Madre
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot
21 months French oak, 27 months in bottle

Nice richness of fruit with black and blue berries
along with mocha and cinnamon (****+)
Bodegas de Monjardin 2008 Reserva Seleccion
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Tempranillo
2.5 years in oak

Simply lovely with mocha, anise, cassis, blackberry and
the grit of heavy tannins - this one still needs time (*** 1/2+)
Bodegas de Monjardin 2012 Chardonnay Barrique, Barrel Fermented
100% Chardonnay - 4 months on lees in French oak
Vanilla notes really come through on the palate,
while the nose says fresh, tropical and chalky (****)

Bodegas de Monjardin 2011 Coupage Seleccion, Crianza
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot
12 months in oak

Straddles the line nicely between oak and fruit with good tannins on finish;
gritty yet still quite approachable (****)
Bodegas Inurrieta 2013 Orchidea
100% Sauvignon Blanc - unoaked
Lots of Sauvignon Blanc character: citrus and some tropical notes
with a really fresh finish (*** 1/2)
Bodegas Inurrieta 2013 Mediodia Rosado
33% Garnacha, 22% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 14% Graciano, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Tempranillo
4 months tank aged on lees

Quite the kitchen sink blend here; aromas of a fresh berry bowl of fruit
yet maintains a lovely dry finish (*** 1/2+)

Bodegas Inurrieta 2011 Norte
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot
6 months in French oak
Gentle use of oak shows the fruit forward nature of this wine (*** 1/2)
Bodegas Ochoa 2013 Calendas
70% Viura, 23% Chardonnay, 7% Moscatel
- no tank or barrel information given -

Love the tropical fruit nose, very aromatic
lots of grapefruit cocktail and lemon zest (*** 1/2)
Bodegas Ochoa 2011 Tempranillo, Crianza
100% Tempranillo
12 months in American oak

This wine is all fresh red fruit with a little weight (*** 1/2+)

Bodegas Ochoa 2007 Reserva
55% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
15 months in a mix of French and American oak

Smooth and silky with lots of red fruit along with hints
of blueberry and spice (*** 1/2+)
Bodegas Ochoa 2007 8A Origens Stunning Stones, Reserva
70% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
14 months in both American and French oak

There's some heft to this wine, fruit driven with a mineral quality;
good focus here with nice complexity and nothing overwhelms (****+)
Bodegas Otazu 2009 Chardonnay, Oak Fermented
100% Chardonnay
9 months in French oak and 18 months in bottle
Aromas of coconut husk and grapefruit zest; palate is pineapple core and vanilla;
complex and fleshy with nice mineral component.  Best white of the tasting (****+)

Bodegas Otazu 2008
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Tempranillo
16 months in oak and 36 months in bottle

Smooth and elegant mouthfeel with good acidity and pleasant, non-overpowering tannins,
almost a creamy sensation on the mid-palate with creme de cassis and nice weight (****)
Bodegas Principe de Viana 2013 Roble Tempranillo
100% Tempranillo
3 months in oak: 20% French / 80% American

Juicy red berries with hints of blueberry (*** 1/2+)
Bodegas Principe de Viana 2013 Granacha Vinas Viejas
100% Garnacha
3 months in oak: 30% French / 70% American

Blackberry, cassis, raspberry and juicy;
needs about 20 minutes in glass to really blossom (****+)
Bodegas Tandem 2011 Ars Invitro
90% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot
2 years in closed concrete vats with no oak aging

fresh and fruity with good development of spice and tannin (*** 1/2+)
Bodegas Tandem 2006 Macula Reserva
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
24 months in closed concrete vats then 26 months in French oak

Surprisingly fresh for a 2006; nicely spiced, dark fruit, cassis with a kiss of wood,
along with fine tannins; this one is ageable up the yin-yang.  Best red of tasting (**** 1/2)

A quick look back at the room before leaving ... event was held at Patria in Toronto

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