Latin is a theme at the Navarra based Tandem winery. Tandem itself is Latin for “finally” (and nothing to do with cycling in this case) while the names of the individual wines are in Latin (or derived from it): Casual, Inmacula, Ars In Vitro, Ars Nova, Macula, Ars Memoria, and Inmune.
Tandem was founded in 2003 by Alicia Eyaralar, José María Fraile and a small group of wine-loving relatives and friends. The vineyard is quite close to Pamplona and on the northern edge of the Navarra wine region.
Speaking in Cork in 2018, Jose Maria said: “We like freshness and elegance and luckily we’re in the coolest part of the appellation. It is super green where we are, a big contrast with the desert in the south. The Atlantic influence, the cool summer nights, and picking late in the season is good for the grapes and we get that natural acidity.”
|With Jose Maria (left) in Cork 2019|
This has been raised in concrete. “Nowadays, concrete is accepted, the epoxy lining has made the difference, more complexity, more tannins, more colour, finesse and elegance.”
It is a blend of Tempranillo and Merlot. And yes, that acidity is there too, making it a versatile wine at the table. Enjoy, as I did recently, this complex red, its long lasting red and dark fruit flavours. Fresh, enjoyable, pleasant and ideal for any occasion.
O’Briens say: “..classy red from a boutique, quality obsessed producer in Navarra… expresses the pure cool climate Yerri Valley Tempranillo and Merlot fruit without the use of oak".
Dark ruby is the colour here. Joes Maria, as you would expect, had this spot-on at 12 Tables, summing up the blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as fresh, fruity and long. “More complex, more spice and great with lamb.” Great too with duck as I found out later.
This rich and complex red has been aged a minimum 24 months in concrete vats plus 9 months in 300-litre French oak barrels. Open, decant and let it breathe for half an hour before enjoying with a roast leg of lamb (or duck!).
The Latin Ars Nova translates to new art and indeed Ars Nova was a musical movement in the 14th Century which brought about the advent of volume in music. And Tandem thought this very applicable to their philosophy of this wine which also has their trademark acidity.
Importers O’Brien are also very happy with this one: “One of the finest reds we have seen from Navarra; only a producer performing at the very highest level is capable of making such a wine - a masterpiece in innovation and testament to the passion of this boutique winery.”
Music to Jose Maria’s ears and to those of Tandem’s customers. Play on, maestro!