Monday, July 18, 2016

Arinzano: Stunning Wines from a Spanish "Grand Cru"

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

Sancho Fortuñones de Arínzano first produced wine in this Navarra site in the 11th Century. So, yeah, there's some history behind this special spot.

Arinzano received a Vino de Pago classification in 2007, a heralded designation for certain estate-grown and produced Spanish wines. The vines are planted in loam, sand and limestone soils in a cooler area of the Pyrennes, and the vines climb to 1,600 feet.

In brief, these wines are exciting and delicious. Vibrant, bright, complex, full of earthy spice and complexity.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2014 Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano Blanco - Spain, Navarra, Arinzano
Medium yellow color. Lively aromatic bursts of lemon curd, green apples and juicy pears. The oak shows through on the nose with vanilla and toasted almond but I also get some salty air and floral perfume. Creamy texture on the palate but zesty acidity keeps it fresh. Green apples, lemon curd and pear skin flavors blend with a pronounced sense of chalk, minerals and quinine. The oak is noticeable with vanilla and nut flavors, but they're mixed in very well. The wine is long and seamless, Burgundian, dare I say it. Aged 12 months ion French oak (30% new, 70% second year). (89 points)

2015 Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano Rosado - Spain, Navarra, Arinzano
Ripe watermelon color. Smells of juicy strawberries, white cherries, watermelon, along with some chalky and spicy notes. Very pretty in its creaminess but quite tart and bright in its approach, Notes of crushed chalk and minerals add complexity to the strawberry, red apple and quince fruit. A nice kick of spiced tea, pepper and nettle comes out as it warms up. Crisp and clean but this packs quite a lot of flavor and depth. 100% Tempranillo from a vineyard that is designated particularly for making this rosé. (88 points)

2011 Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano Tinto - Spain, Navarra, Arinzano
Gorgeous light purple color. Deep aromas of black cherries, red and black currants, violets, cedar, tobacco, roasted coffee, but the wine needs time to open up to show its full aromatic capacity. Full but fleshy with wonderfully vibrant acidity and structured, dry, dusty tannins. Gorgeous tart fruit (black currant, plum skins) mix with a note of roasted fig, all of it backed by pipe tobacco, forest floor, sage, tobacco. A savory, earthy finish, this wine is great for the lover of brightness and freshness in a bold wine. Impressive but accessible now. Tempranillo with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, aged 14 months in 40% new French oak. (90 points)

2008 Arinzano La Casona ­- Spain, Navarra, Arinzano
Vibrant dark ruby color. Loamy, cigar shop and herbal notes roll over red currant and dark cherry aromas. The wine really opens up a lot with air to show spicy and earthy complexity. Pure silky on the palate, sure the tannins are structured but they're fined down around the edges and bright acidity pulls it all together. Full of black cherry and dark plum fruit, some lively red berry fruit tossed into the mix as well. I get a host of cedar, cigar box, dried leaves, charcoal and tobacco flavors. So much going on here, but this is also an elegant and pure expression. I'd love to revisit this in three years. A blend of 75% Tempranillo and 25% Merlot aged 14 months in 40% new French oak. (92 points)

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