Tag Archives: Navarra Spain

Ode to Spain & Good Friends – Bodega Pago de Cirsus

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pago de cisrsus chardIn preparation for a vacation throughout central and northern Spain my vino-loving friends decided to introduce me to the wines of Pago de Cirsus from the region of Navarra. As luck would have it they had me at Navarra, a denomination of origin or region in central-northern Spain that I favor and neighbors the better-known Rioja. I hate to generalize, but I can honestly say that I have never had a bad wine from the Navarra area.

Thanks to the wines of Pago de Cirsus I am happy to report that my favorable opinion of wines from Navarra continues to grow.  We didn’t drink them all on the same night, not that there is anything wrong with that, but we had the pleasure of  discovering three of their different releases over a couple of different stay at home dinners. It pays to have wine-loving friends and neighbors.

Pago de Cirsus 2017 Chardonnay; hand harvested,  100% Chardonnay

This wine was an immediate hit and surprisingly my first true Chardonnay from Spain. Served with vegetarian / vegan hors d’oeuvres it disappeared quickly and left guests asking for more. This from non Chardonnay drinkers! Beautiful notes of rich tropical fruits; peach, pineapple with no oak detected.

The Chardonnay was actually the last of the three wines sampled and it was sampled on a different night altogether. For the reds, the evening was planned and a bit more organized. As soon as the guests arrived and settled [party of six] the notepads and writing utensils came out. I quickly realized that six different people taking notes in a very social setting was not going to work. Fate intervened and a volunteer note-taker for the group appeared. I will forever be grateful because thanks to this giving soul we have wine notes to review!

Pago de Cirsus 2014 Cuvee Especial;  45% Syrah, 40% Merlot, 17% Tempranillo. Fermented in French oak vats, and then 14 months in new French oak barrels,

With a great pedigree to start, unbeknownst to us,  this hand harvested red-blend was selected as the best Spanish red wine, at the 2014 Brussels World Competition, it did not disappoint.  Five out of the 6 tasters gave this wine high marks and thought it was representative of a more expensive bottle. Group notes: black pepper, mocha/chocolate, baking spices including clove, blackberry, fig, violet, leather, woodsy [cedar/oak]. Medium bodied.

pago de sirsus redsPago de Cirsus 2013 Seleccion de Familia; 85% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo.          Fermented in French oak vats, then 14 months in new French oak barrels. Aged three years.

This without a doubt was the favorite of the night with six of the six guests agreeing on its excellent quality. A wine to savor with time on your side. The additional aging of this higher end of our three samples  truly came through by adding character and richness. A great way to end our wine-tasting event. Group notes: tobacco, leather, black pepper, paprika, red fruits, smooth tannins, long finish. 

Although my recent trip to northern Spain and Portugal did not include the Navarra wine-region, I am happy to report that this not known by most area is still tops on my list. As are the wines of Pago de Cirsus which have across the board truly impressed.

So, as I fantasize about another trip to Spain, you better believe I will continue to search out wines by Bodegas Pago de Cirsus, vino from Navarra, and reasons to share with wine-loving friends.   ¡SALUD!

 

 

Tablao Red Wine Navarra 2012

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I have been wanting to write about this wine for a while now. It is one of the best selling vinos on our Whole Foods Market Top 10 Fall program. OENOPHILOGICAL beat me to the punch and I am glad he did. I do not think I could have done a better job.
This wine not only helped me discover the Navarra region of Spain but also the bargain of the season. Deliciously fruit forward and with quite the growing fan base at our Whole Foods Market North Miami store.
So without further ado, I introduce you to Navarra’s Tablao and OENOPHILOGICAL. Salud!

oenophilogical

Get ready to put on your dancing shoes!!

Why?  Because the name on this wine, Tablao, is a word used to denote a flamenco show, a flamenco venue, or the dance floor on which flamenco is performed.  I can hear those heels rat-a-tat-tatting now!

Quite an interesting choice of names for a wine label, don’t you think?  It certainly promises a lot!  Think of all the things that flamenco conjures in the imagination.  Flamenco is exciting, dynamic, vibrant, passionate, and sensual!  It exudes a feeling of controlled chaos – the musicians, singers and dancers playing on the edge of rhythmic and emotional anarchy.  Whew!  That’s a lot to live up to.  Does the wine do the name justice?  Well …

Winemaker:  Tablao (by Bodega Pagos de Aráiz)
Wine:  Red Wine
Varietal: Red Blend
Vintage: 2012
Appellation:  Navarra DDO, Spain
Price:  $9.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This Tablao red from the…

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International Tempranillo Day – Tablao Wine

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2012 Tablao – Red Wine

This Whole Foods Holiday Top 10 wine grabbed my attention this week. Perfectly timed for celebrating International Tempranillo Day which falls on November 14th this year.  

The first fact that caught my eye was the “Denominacion de Origen” of Navarra Spain. A region I quite honestly never heard of before, but quickly learned is located near the France border of northern Spain.

English: Map of Spain with Navarre highlighted...

From the Wines of Navarra web-site:

Navarra is the name of both the autonomous region in northern Spain, and the very specifically limited wine zone of Navarra—today one of Spain’s most exciting quality wine regions.

The Navarra wine region lies between Rioja and the French border to the northeast. The foothills of the Pyrenees descend towards Navarra from the north and the Ebro River runs up from the south into Rioja to the west. Navarra’s capital, Pamplona, lies just north of the wine region. With its special location between Rioja and Bordeaux, it draws expertise and inspiration from both of these regions while retaining its own individual wine style.

English: Navarra Denominacion de Origen label,...

English: Navarra Denominacion de Origen label, as found on the reverse of suitably qualified bottles. Shot with Nikon D70s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adding to the interest factor our in-store wine notes informed me that; Vines grown in the Navarra region of Spain are trained along trellises rather than in bushes, maximizing their exposure to the sun and resulting in grapes of intense flavor. A sight to behold I am sure and one I’d like to see in person someday.

Mature Tempranillo grape cluster with characte...

Produced and bottled by Bodegas Pagos de Araiz this 2012 red wine blend is made up of 81% Tempranillo, 9% Garnacha, 8% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. In my case the luck of the blends has struck again. Deliciously fruity and well-balanced this red fruit forward wine falls into my category of “easy drinker”.  A great every day accompaniment to meals with meats, pasta, pizza, Spanish foods etc.

Tasting and pairing notes;

Juicy with ripe red raspberries. Complex hints of licorice and cherry round out the sublime, lingering finish. pairs well with: Seaside Cheddar, glazed ham, smoked brisket, veggie lasagna, enchiladas.

I was not planning on writing a Tempranillo Day post but the stars must have aligned and fate stepped in to bring this wine to me with such good timing.  And I’ve saved the best for last. The Tablao is presently priced at $7.99. Yes, a perfectly priced every day wine. I am now looking forward to stretching out this International Tempranillo Day through the weekend.  ¡SALUD!

From Wine Enthusiasts “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Tempranillo”:

1. It’s very, very old. Tempranillo is indigenous to Spain and dates back to before the time of Christ. It’s been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since the Phoenicians settled it in 1100 B.C.

2. It’s an early bird. Tempranillo is derived from the word temprano, which in Spanish means “early.” Among red varieties in Spain, it’s considered an early ripener.

3. It has many monikers. Tempranillo goes by more than a dozen different names around the world, depending on where it’s cultivated. It’s called Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Tinta de Toro in Toro, Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in La Mancha and Tinto Roriz in Portugal.

4. It’s cloned. There are about 500 clones of Tempranillo in Spain alone; Tinto Fino and Tinta de Toro are the best-known.

5. It has a white mutant. Although rare, albino Tempranillo does exist in Rioja. It’s an approved wine grape; it yields a citrusy, rather simple wine akin to Viognier in weight, flavor and overall style.