Region: Ribera Baja de Navarra, Spain
Taste: Picture strolling through a bustling farmer’s market in the town square of a Spanish town. The smell of fruit and leafy greens, a waft of manchego cheese, the butcher calls you over for a taste of jamón...that is the beating heart of this 100% Tempranillo. It’s assertive yet elegant with its red-fruit characteristics and subtle earthiness.
Pairing: Manchego cheese, baked pastas in tomato sauce, especially nonna’s baked ziti, try Baked Ziti by Alison Roman, and add sausage if you want something meatier!Anything vibrant and zingy will play well with this wine though, so don’t be afraid to pair it with something with bright acidity and savoriness.
About, from Mary Taylor Wine: Our Navarra project is all about family and vines - handed down through the generations and a love story between Corella and San Sebastien – the past generation. I love to say that the people I work with are like living vines – many generations have lived in these soils. In present day, Maria Cruz Garcia and her husband Carlos Aliaga run the viticulture and vinification at this independent 80-hectare farm in the Ribera Baja (since 1999). There is a lot of pride here in working “the old way,” meaning low sulphites and indigenous yeasts. Here we have a desert climate, the lowest rainfall in Spain and a wind called “Le Cierzo,” keeping the vines free of fungus and mildew. The biggest threat is that from the butterfly, for which they employ the highly ecofriendly technique of ‘sexual confusion’ (as in many of our wines). Ribera Baja, at the southern tip of Navarra, is a river plain, essentially the basin of the Ebro. We are between Aragon and La Rioja. Here there is more Tempranillo grown than Garnacha, which is more prevalent in the north. I (Mary) met these lovely Spaniards in Paris at a wine fair a couple of years ago. After exploring a hundred wines from Spain and feeling lost and uninspired, I magically stumbled upon these hyper terroir-driven and real wines that finally felt like human hands were involved in the rendering of such haunting and elegant juice.
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