Posted by: tomciocco | November 26, 2011

NAVARRA, THE BASQUE PLUTO

The recent ex-planet, not the cartoon dog if there was any confusion, by the way…But on to the wine. The goriest details of the history of the Kingdom, and now the Autonomous Chartered Community of Navarra are thankfully beyond the scope of this post, but in short, there can be no doubt that Navarra has traditionally fallen within the Basque cultural and linguistic sphere. Even today, many towns in rural northern Navarra are still emblazoned with Basque names, and dotted with cherry orchards, and half-timbered houses, and still a few Euskaldunak (Basque speakers). But by the time that you reach the celebrated city of Pamplona (Iruna in Basque – sorry, can’t make the tilda over the “n”) Franco’s systematic Castillianization shows its strong effects. Of all of the 7 culturally Basque provinces in Spain and France, Navarra’s orbit is the most distant and erratic…

But now (finally) on to the wine. Regardless of the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identity of Navarra, its viticultural identity has for many centuries been linked to the Garnacha grape. Garnacha’s origins are still hotly debated, but regardless from what craggy hillock this great grape originally sprouted, a branch of the family is Navarran from way back…

One of the black-skinned Garnacha’s other acts is as the material for making rose`wine, and Navarra, and indeed all of Spain, loves its pink wine, and that’s what we drank tonight, with a pintxo of ham, pureed chickpeas, garlic parlsey, and hard-boiled eggs. The main course was a trio of salmon baked with tomato and scallion, etc., crispy roasted potatoes, and a green salad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enanzo Garnacha Rosado Navarra 2010

Pastel pinkish red color. Clean and “punchy” nose of watermelon, strawberry, sparkling mineral water, damp grass, cinnamon, walnut and subtle coffee notes. The medium-weight body is fresh and crisp, with a marked salty, savory quality,  nicely balanced by a chunky, round, and plush mouthfeel. Clean and clear flavors of pink cherries, fresh apple juice, herbs, and a touch of toffee. The finish is big, warm and tart with subtle notes of rose petals.

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