Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro Wines

Ok, I'll digress a little here. We always say “don’t get distracted by the wine label (be it text or picture); to drink and judge the wine by what’s in the glass”. But it’s difficult not to get distracted by this label. Well designed, arty and stylish I must say. When the wines were lined up at the table, one gets easily impressed with the creativity which went into the design process of this label.

The Tasting

Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro is a relatively young winery which began operation in the 1990s. It is located in the village of Quintanilla de Onesimo, within Castilla y Leon (in the Ribera del Duero wine region). They say location counts, and having Vega Sicilia and Pingus as ‘neighbours’ certainly add to the curiosity and quality expectation of what these wines have to offer. (Yes, one should refrain from attempting such comparisons; but let’s brazenly lay it on the weaker side of human nature … it’s difficult most times not to compare).

Ignacio Arzuaga Navarro
Ignacio Arzuaga Navarro (the son of this winery’s founder) was at hand to present the wines. We had the opportunity to taste 6 wines. Three were single varietal wines made using Tempranillo. The other 3 red wines were blends made with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals.

Upon tasting, if I can give a brief summary of these wines, it will be that they possess:
  • a rich fruit presence in the body,
  • soft tannins (which support the fruit in the wine, rather than overwhelm it) and
  • a body which displays a smooth and supple nature.
These are wines you can drink now but they possess the potential to develop further if kept to age longer.

Some details on each of these 6 wines

1. 2012 Bodegas Arzuaga La Planta (100% Tempranillo)
The grapes for this wine comes from 20 year old vines. Grown at an altitude of 900m, there is a good play between fruit and acidity in its body. Harvested by hand, the grapes go through a selection process in the winey before being destemmed and fermented in stainless steel vats. After fermentation the wine spends 6 months in French and American oak barrels. The short ‘barrel aging’ process allows the wine to retain a sense of youthfulness, vibrancy and freshness within tits body. Bright cherry red colour with a light purple rim greets the eye. This is followed by fresh fruit berry aromas and a hint of floral note. The palate reflects the aroma profile by holding fresh fruit berry flavours and a hint of spice. The body is smooth, lively, youthful and offers an ‘easy, soft wine’ to sip

2. 2010 Bodegas Arzuaga Crianza (90% Tempranillo, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot)
The vinification process is similar to that of the earlier wine. It undergoes stainless steel fermentation but gets to spend a longer time (16 months) in French and American oak barrels. The nose reveals berry aromas with a hint of liquorice in the background. The texture becomes immediately noticeable in the palate. You get smoothness, roundness and a creamy feel playing in the palate. There is a good balance between the fruit, acid and tannin components. This is a well integrated wine with a good finish.

3. 2009 Bodegas Azuaga Reserva (95% Tempranillo, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot)
This has been aged for more than 18 months in French and American oak barrels. Aromas reveal dark fruit notes with a hint of toast and leather. Body is elegant and supple. The ripe, dark fruit body with a hint of spice is balanced with a good amount of acidity. Another wine with a lingering finish.

4. 2008 Bodegas Arzuaga Reserva Especial (100% Tempranillo)
(All wines tasted above are of good quality. But this wine is slightly ‘special’ in the making.) The grapes are from old vines, the harvest offers very low yield and consequently production is very limited. Vinification is also slightly different as wooden tanks and French oak barrels are used during the fermentation process. French oak barrels are also employed for aging (24 months) in the winery. Ripe fruits and spiciness reveal themselves to the nose. Palate shows dark fruit notes and toast. Tannins are present but not harsh; they are well on the softer side. The nose ‘opens up’ when this wine is given some time to breathe in the glass.

5. 2008 Bodegas Arzuaga Amaya Arzuaga Collection (100% Tempranillo)
(This wine owes part of its specialty to the fact that it carries the name of Ignacio Arzuaga’s sister, a renowned designer in Spain.) Grapes from old, ‘pre-plexora’ vines are used for the production of this wine. Natural fermentation is employed in the vinification process and the wine produced is left unfiltered. It was first made in 2006. Slightly of a deeper red hue, it reveals floral notes to the nose. Palate reveals dark berry characters, seamless texture with a good depth of body. Acidity in the body adds to the liveliness of the palate. A wine worth aging.

6. 2001 Bodegas Arzuaga Gran Reserva (90% Tempranillo, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot) This wine possesses a ruby red colour with a watery-edged rim. Aromas of herbs, spice and cedar greets the nose. The body reflects the aroma profile. Nice depth and flavours reveals themselves in layers. The noticeable acidity and soft tannins offer a well integrated body (a condition helped by spending 22 months in oak barrels). A smooth and elegant sip, it offers a lingering finish.

I must share that this 'newer' style of Spanish wines with its fresh fruit presence and vibrant body offers a pleasant contrast to the rustic (and at times tired), dried fruit character type of profile seen previously in some wines from Spain.

For more information on these wines, you can contact: Cellarmaster Wines (Singapore) at 67665185.

If you like to see some pictures taken during this event, you can follow the link below:
Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro Photo Album

... morgun pathi

No comments: