2017 Azul y Garanza Viura 'Natural Salvaje' Garnacha
Region: Navarra < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic, dry-farmed, clay/calcareous soil; fermentation in concrete tanks followed by six months aging in amphora and six months in neutral 300L barrels; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Dani Sanchez & Maria Barrena
We love the story of how this wine came to be. Dani and Maria found a small vineyard of mixed red and white grapes on the edge of the National Park of the Bardenas Reales of Navarre, where minimal water, rainfall and extreme temperature change from day to night create the perfect storm for challenging the vines and making great wine. They recognized the potential of this terroir, planted a few more rows, and went to the Spanish government saying we’d been taking care of these plots, could we please make wine from it? The government said yes, and so they began making wine, but working with “landscapes” – not merely vineyards - with each of their plots enjoying as much biological diversity as this harsh climate will allow. The surrounding plants, shrubs, trees, and animal/insect life play as much a part to the success of the grapes as the vines themselves.
Which brings us to this beautiful, medium-bodied red, from grapes planted on virgin soils, picked early, by hand, to maintain character, and aged in amphora. It's not a baby - there is a bit of bottle age, so the flavors are evolved, with generous wild red fruit, woodsy herbs, cedar and a whiff of campfire. Super pretty and elegant, no rough edges, this one will please even the snootiest wine lover. Open and sip slowly, or decant -- with more air, the wine continues to unfold – it doesn't reach its peak until open 2-3 hours...and then you'll be wishing you had a second bottle.