Spain holds the rank of the third largest wine producer globally, following Italy and France. The country devotes a significant amount of land to vineyards, with over one million acres dedicated to wine production. Spain boasts 60 officially recognized wine regions, known as Denominaciones de Origen (D.O.), which operate similarly to France's appellations, enforcing specific laws to ensure the quality of wines produced in each region. Spain consists of 17 autonomous regions, and this month's featured wines originate from Navarra, home to the famous Pamplona and the running of the bulls, as well as Rioja, a region steeped in history encompassing a massive 161000 acres of land.

     The Rioja wine region is located in northern Spain, primarily within the autonomous community of La Rioja but also extending into parts of Navarre and the Basque Country. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, with the Ebro River flowing through the region. Rioja has a unique climate influenced by both Atlantic and Mediterranean weather patterns. The region experiences hot summers and relatively mild winters, with variations in microclimates across its three subregions. The diverse terroir includes a mix of soils such as clay, limestone, and alluvial deposits, contributing to the different wine styles produced here. Many wineries in Rioja combine modern winemaking practices with respect for age-old traditions, resulting in a diverse range of high-quality wines. While Rioja is primarily known for its red and white wines, the production of rosé wine in the region has gained popularity in recent years. Rosé wines from Rioja, known as "Rosado" in Spanish, offer a unique expression of the region's winemaking prowess and terroir.

     The Navarra D.O., situated to the east of Rioja, represents the Basque region. Wine cultivation in Navarra dates back to the Roman era in the first century A.D. However, the region's reputation for winemaking truly flourished during the late Middle Ages. Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route experiencing a recent surge in popularity, began praising the exceptional quality of wines encountered while passing through the Kingdom of Navarra. Additionally, the Navarra throne was occupied by a series of French monarchs during this time, leading to a three-century cultural renaissance that is still evident today in the region's late Romanesque and high Gothic architectural treasures. Moreover, a lingering French influence can be observed in the local sensibilities surrounding food and wine.

     The region had a reputation for its celebrated rosés made from the native Garnacha Tinta grape even before D.O. Navarra was established in 1933. Navarra rosé wines are known for their versatility and food-friendliness and often exhibit a balance between fruitiness, acidity, and minerality. This makes them suitable for various occasions and culinary pairings. Whether enjoyed as a refreshing apéritif or paired with Mediterranean cuisine, Navarra rosé wines offer a delightful drinking experience.

Think Pink,

Carrie Upson

General Manager

Maximo Abete “Casalasierra” Rosé 2021

Region/Country of Origin:

Navarra, Spain

About the Vintage: Vintage marked by the big frost in april, which affected

a quarter of our vineyard and the poor fruit set of the Garnacha variety. It results in a yield 40% lower than the average. Warm and very dry summer season benefitted from cool nights which helped keep balance in the fruit. Rain at the beginning of September delayed the starting of the harvest and adding to cool temperatures made a slow and balanced maturation. Tasty and concentrated wines with fresh fruit and low pHs. Feeling of a great vintage.

About the Winemaking: Gentle de-stemming and cold skin contact for 12 hours. Free run juice to obtain the must without using pressure (bleeding method). Fermentation without skins at low temperature in concrete vat during 19

days. Bottled in November 2021

Tasting Notes: An intense bright pink color with purple glints. Very pronounced  nose with red berry fruits (strawberry, raspberry), candy fruits and herbal base. Fresh attack, very refreshing body with a good acidity and balanced lingering finish full of fruity aromas. Good balance between acidity and fruitiness.

Winemakers: Yoanna and Maria Abete

Price per bottle / Price per case: 

$19.99 / $205.09

Suggested Food Pairing:

With everything; Navarra vegetables, white meats, grilled meats, rice, pasta, pizza.

Ostatu Rioja Rosato 2022

Region/Country of Origin: Rioja, Spain

About the Winery:  The secret lies in the high-altitude, bush-trained vineyards of indigenous tempranillo, garnacha, and viura vines in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains. Theirs is a singular mountain rosé produced from some of Ostatu’s oldest and highest-elevation vineyards in the village of Samaniego: La Paul, Valdepedro, and Carrera at 600m to 650m. Samaniego is located directly at the convergence of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean climatic influences, which mold the character of the vintages. This unique soil and climate also lend a certain austerity and structure to Ostatu wines, which differentiates them from the Rioja wines of other subzones. Ostatu is pure Alavesa mountain wine, born of the tension and energy of an extreme climate.

About the Winemaking: Grapes are farmed organically, and only native yeasts are utilized to ferment in stainless steel tanks, yielding a light, refreshing rosé from Rioja with substance, as well as charm. After a manual harvest, the grapes are destemmed and gently pressed before undergoing a short maceration. The wine then ferments with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures (15°C to 16°C) on the lees for 44 days. Afterward, the wine is cold stabilized and gently filtered through diatomaceous earth before bottling. 63% Tempranillo / 35% Garnacha / 2% Viura.  Certified Organic by ENEEK (Basque Organic Regulatory Council).

Tasting Notes:  Intense aroma of red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, currants), some citrus skin (orange peel) and fine minerality. Very fresh and balanced on the palate with good acidity. Finishes with a great balance of flavors, fruitiness and warmth.

Winemaker: Gonzalo Sáenz de Samaniego 

Price per bottle / Price per case: 

$19.99/ $215.89 case

Suggested Food Pairing:

Patatas Bravas

Jamin Iberico

Gambas al Ajillo

Salmon salad

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