Azul y Garanza “Garciano” 2020 Navarra DO, 14%,
RRP €17. Stockists:The Vintry , Dublin. Connemara Hamper, Clifden.Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny. Ardkeen Grocery Store, Waterford. Mannings , Ballylickey. Quay Co-Op, Cork. Wunderkaffee, Farran, Co. Cork. Real Olive Co. Macroom Dairy & Dublin. Taste, Castletownbere. Harrington's, Ardgroom, Beara.
Sonas, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick. Mary Pawle Wines.
The label is rather spiritual here: 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. The other line is more down down to earth then: Fermented in concrete tank.
But, never fear, it is an excellent wine, in keeping with the Azul y Garanza reputation. Importer Mary Pawle: “A great favourite with our customers, this delicious, well balanced wine is a blend of the fruity and spicy Garnacha and the subtle acidity of Graciano grapes. Medium bodied and guaranteed to please.”
It comes from the edge of a desert to the south with the foothills of the Pyrenees to the north. The desert, in Navarra, is the Bardenas Reales. The wine is a blend of 60% Garnacha & 40% Graciano, a blend that has spent six months in French oak.
Aromas of this mid-ruby wine are quite complex 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, berry and plum, spicy but smooth and balanced. The wine is Very Highly Recommended.
It 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.
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. Also, we kept the forested areas close to the vines which are important, among other reasons, as a refuge for animals. All of this allows us to configure the mosaic of the landscape, bringing heterogeneity and developing its biodiversity.”
Navarra is neighboured by Rioja to the West and by Aragon to the East with France beyond the Pyrenees to the North and its major red grapes are Tempranillo and Garnacha. Garnacha is also a leading grape in Aragon and, under its French name Grenache, is a key player in the GSM blends ff the Rhone Valley. And it has yet another name in Sardinia where it is widely planted and known as Cannonau.