Garnacha from Navarra

I’m in Pamplona for a couple of days, in the Navarra wine region. Today I’m speaking at a conference on communication and wine called #winecom, and last night there was a speakers’ dinner at the excellent Enekorri restaurant in town. Three Navarra wines were served, and the connecting theme was Garnacha (aka Grenache), in three colours (Tinto, rosé from Tinto, and Blanco). The region has 10 000 hectares of vines, of which a third are Garnacha, and many believe this is the future for the region – its identity. Here are my notes.

La Huella de Aitana Zen Cuvée Rosé Garnacha 2019 Navarra, Spain
13.5% alcohol. From Gonzalo Celayeta wines, this is a limited edition rosé that is fermented in barrel where it spends 8 months, and then has a further 10 months in amphora. Pale pink colour. This has a lovely stony, savoury, spicy edge to the juicy cherry and pear fruit with just a hint of wood. It’s fruity but gastronomic. Really impressive. 91/100

La Cardelina Alzania Garnacha Blanca 2018 Navarra, Spain
13% alcohol. From Tierra Estella, with clay/limestone soils. Fermented and matured for 6 months in 500 and 250 litre barrels (including French, American and Hungarian oak). Taut and fresh with a touch of spicy oak supporting the lively citrus fruit. Has good acidity and a mineral edge. Very expressive, finishing with some spicy oak notes. 90/100 

Viña Zorzal Señora de las Alturas 2019 Navarra, Spain
14% alcohol. This is a single parcel Garnacha from the Pontigos parcel, with ancient pre-phylloxera vines still on their own roots. It’s just so fresh, layered and intense. Fresh and vital with juicy cherry fruit as well as red berries. Linear and focused with low extraction but lots of flavour. Has a slight spicy underlay but the focus is on the fruit. Very fine and bright. 94/100