First Published n Costa News Group SL

BODEGAS AROA, DO NAVARRA

ODDS-ON PRIZE WINNER AT IMMINENT

ORGANIC WINE FAIR, PAMPLONA APRIL 2011

It’s halfway through March as I write about what will, I’m sure, happen in a few weeks time. If only I was able to predict lottery numbers with the same certainty that I now forecast that Bodegas Aroa will come away with prizes and medals from the forthcoming Organic Wine Fair in nearby Pamplona!

 In truth it’s not too difficult to make such a confident prophecy, having tasted the wines of this thoroughly modern looking winery whose roots are firmly entrenched in historic, traditional soil-friendly methods. And this is definitely not because of a paucity of quality organic wines in Spain!

 My trusty laptop has recorded several Cork Talk articles I’ve written about the rise and rise of ecological wine over the years. This pleasing progress continues unabated and Bodegas Aroa is clearly in the vanguard of developments in this field, literally!

 The following wines are good wines, not just good organic wines. They are designed to reflect that which is contained in the grapes used and in the soils in which the plants’ roots search for nourishment. Furthermore their viticulture is intended to benefit the soil and indeed the whole local eco-system, of which the land is of course an integral part.

 We are talking here of the philosophy of sustainable viticulture. This is by no means a new innovative theory. It’s an understanding taught from generation to generation by those who have worked the land for hundreds of years, but which has sadly, tragically even, been pushed into the background during the greed-inspired 20th Century.

 Mutiko is their youngest red wine. Made from 70% Tempranillo and 30% Merlot, it has a surprising rich, roundness considering its youth. There are dark damson fruits on the nose and palate, plus a faint whiff of mountain herbs and subtle mineral notes, with a touch of damp earth too. A very good relatively full, joven wine.

 Jauna 2006 has Cabernet as the majority shareholder with Tempranillo and Merlot also on the Board. It’s inky-black with mature tannin, black cherry, blackcurrant and the bodega’s characteristic autumn leaves, minty mineral notes with abundant rich fruit. There’s a dark chocolate finish and a good length. This wine has three to five years to shed its still youthful, fruit-inspired vibrancy and mature in depth and flavour.

 Larossa is their very pretty rosado wine which comes in elegant 50cl bottles. It’s unusual to note minerality on a rosado wine but that’s the first whiff, before rich, almost syrupy raspberry and strawberry, take its place.

 This sweeter sensation is carried onto the palate where the 1·9 grams of residual sugar and high alcohol level make for a wine that is going to delight those with a sweeter tooth!

 Gorena 2004, 70% Cabernet 30% Tempranillo, has a hunger-inspiring smoked-bacon nose as the cork is pulled with blackcurrant cassis coming through strongly along with typical earthy mineral notes. There is a slight medicinal flavour with integrated oak and a touch of tannin making it a wine that is best enjoyed with food.

 Deierri 2006 is vermillion coloured with a full fruity nose with mineral and meaty notes, following its 4-6 months in American oak. It has a good mouthfeel with mature tannin, some fresh acidity and a good finish.

 I feel some awards coming on!

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