Azul y Garanza “Garciano” 2017 Navarra DO, 14.5%, €16.00 Mary Pawle
This organic blend of Garnacha and Graciano (from the edges of Europe’s largest desert ) is mid-ruby in colour with fresh raspberry and blackberry prominent on the nose. The fruity and spicy Garnacha with the “subtle acidity” of the Graciano make a great match as you can sense on the palate where it is quite intense, smooth and balanced. Very Highly Recommended.
The wine comes from an amazing area, the Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert or badlands. The very poor and arid clay-calcareous soil, the dry weather and the big contrast of temperature between the day and the night provide grapes with high concentration and a perfect balance and also offers distinctive character and great expression.The blend is 60% Garnacha and 40% Graciano and it spends some 6 months in French oak.
Azul y Garanza are organic but go further, planting fruit trees and native aromatic plants around the vineyards. “Working this way, we break the monoculture and we create a wider eco-system.”
They say: In Garciano, delicate Garnacha and indomitable Graciano find perfect harmony, like two souls merged in a single body. That explains the two-headed animal, sheep and predator, on the label.
Entre Vignes “Oníric” Xarel-lo Penedès (DO) 2019, 12.5%, €13.15 Mary Pawle
You probably know that the Xarel-lo is one of the main grapes in Cava. On a solo here, it has a light gold colour. Floral and white fruit in the intense aromatics. Good lively acidity immediately noticeable, silky yet tangy with a hint of bitterness, assertive from start to long finish. Lovely mouthfeel. Highly Recommended. Well priced also.
Mary Pawle says: Entre Vinyes is a personal project of Maria Barrena (Azul y Garanza in Navarra) and this Penedes white is a lovely expression of the local grape variety.
Not so long ago, we enjoyed the Oníric Pet-Nat, details here. Oníric in Catalan translates as dreamer and Maria Barrena’s aim is to rescue old forgotten vineyards and restore a balanced ecosystem. This 60-year vineyard, surrounded by a rich biodiversity, is in the Baix Penedes region (in Catalonia) close to the Med.
Recommended food pairings are seafood and hard cheeses. I think though it is very versatile. Try it with tuna, salads with herbs (even a Caprese), and also Pork and vegetarian dishes.