wine with lulu: navarra

Maybe Marti was taking note of my 'un tinto' drink orders whenever out for a pintxo, or possibly the sound of a bottle of red opening on a nightly basis? Either way, Marti asked me last week if I was interested doing weekly write-ups on Spanish wine. Of course, I accepted.

Mind you-I'm a broke barista from Los Angeles who drinks 2-Buck-Chuck. In San Sebastian, I will fully defend my wino tendencies. My days here are limited and all that haunts me is how many bottles I'll be able to smuggle into the states. Because let's face it, for 10 euros it's like you're drinking a wine from Bacchus himself. Having access to *very affordable quality wines and those that are not available outside of Spain is heavenly for this gal. One must take full advantage of what Europeans take for granted.

Every Wednesday we'll be sharing a wine from the many regions of Spain. I'm here to give you the run-down on the regions-basic info on the bottle and our tasting experience. This week we compared two bottles from the same vineyard. The first, a 'Reserva' blend and the second a full Garnacha.

Bodega: Domino Lasierpe (est. 1920)
Name: Flor de la Sierpe - seleccion Los fieles
Region: Navarra
Year: 2000
Grape: tempranillo, graciano, cabernet sauvignon, merlot

This vineyard is located in the navarra region which is just south-west of San Sebastian and boarders up to the south eastern part of France. The capital of the navarra is Pamplona. 'Reserva' aka 'old vine' basically means it's aged longer before being sold. Now the blends... Tempranillo is a full bodied red wine native to Spain. It has high aromas + flavors including berries, plum, vanilla. Graciano is another Spanish red grape common as a low 'yield' on a vineyard. Meaning not much of it is grown, it ages and blends well.
Obviously Cabernet Sauvignon is most common due to it's ability to grow in a variety of climates. The cab claims that 'oak' taste. And merlot, also a popular medium body grape to grow for easy blending with it's berry,plum, and currant flavors.

After opening bottle 1 the first thing I pegged in the aroma was the Oak, maybe higher cab percentage? I also couldn't ignore the high alcohol content 13.5%. that smell and taste of ' I'm hung over already' but it's rich taste and aroma of dark berries it drank with little to no dryness or lingering of an aftertaste. Following day second helping was even more splendid after she had time to breathe - enriched flavors and mellowed her out.


Bodega: Dominio Lasierpe (est. 1920)
Name: Garnacha Vinas Viejas
Region: Navarra
Year: 2007
Grape: 100% Garnacha aka Tinto


Garnacha is the most commonly used grape here in Spain. It was noted on this bottle that this wine spent 10 months in french oak barrels before being bottled and sold.
This bottle surprisingly I enjoyed more considering it's 7 years junior to bottle one. Much lighter in aroma, berry and currant flavored with lightly woody. Also the same notable alcohol content 13.5% I enjoyed this bottle more as a 'drink alone' type. She's doesn't need to be tamed and paired with food. Does that make sense? Anywho, better as well after breathing.

So, there you have it! I highly suggest both but for my liking and single behavior lifestyle... Bottle 2 wins!

Till next week!