Deeply intense dark colour. A mass of heady ripe blackberry and dark cherry fruit leaps from the glass. Pure, beautifully ripe and glowing with health this fine red from Navarra in north east Spain makes a very compelling argument as an alternative to Rioja, its more celebrated neighbour.
The palate is similarly easy to enjoy, crammed with a medley of raspberry, damson plum and blackberry with subtle nuances of wild scrub and herbs, topped off with a light dusting of pepper. Tannins are relaxed and gentle. All in all, a joyful glass of casual drinking red.
Azul y Garanza
The story of Azul y Garanza begins in the striking landscapes of the Bardenas Reales, an almost desert-like region in southeastern Navarre, in NE Spain. The three founders, Dani Sanchez and Maria and Fernando Barrena found the ideal conditions to start their wine business. Their love for the land and nature directs their work. Here, pesticides and weedkillers are banned from the vineyard; healthy vines give quality wines. Biodiversity is encouraged, several species of fruit trees and native aromatic shrubs have been planted in order to maintain the natural balance of the environment. Thanks to the prevailing climatic conditions here (very little rainfall, large temperature difference between day and night +/- 15C), their 40 hectares of vines are low yielding, bearing concentrated, balanced fruit. Soils are shallow, traced with clay. Old vines predominate.The winery was originally built between 1940 and 1960 (partly underground) but their subsequent renovations have resulted in a series of small concrete tanks allowing small batch vinifications according to different soils and grape varieties. To reflect individual terroirs is fundamental to Dani, Maria and Fernando. Vinifications are carried out almost exclusively in concrete tanks using natural yeasts, with only minimal interventions. Their working practices throughout are certified organic, in line with their aim to produce wines that truly reflect the landscape from which they come. Intense and pure expressions abound.