(2020) One of the more unusual and more interesting pink wines here, principally because it is a rare barrel-fermented rosé, the blend composed of 54% Garnacha (Grenache) and 46% Tempranillo, from Chivite's Navarra vineyards in northern Spain. There's a white partner too, which I'll be tasting soon, and both come in a striking amphora-shaped bottles with an inscription on the back that explains that the wines are produced in collaboration with the fabulous 3* restaurant, Arzak, in San Sebastian, where I had a fabulous meal a couple of years ago. The rosé is pale in colour and pretty on the nose, the aromas immediately betray that barrel influence from the Alliers oak, vanilla, toast and a touch of truffle, but that's amongst the fragrant raspberry and summery, blossom fruits. In the mouth that creaminess and toast from the barrel is evident again, adding lots of intrigue, and melting into the soft pillow of red berries, a good and slightly salty acidity, all completing a fascinating picture.
(2020) Another wine in a 250ml ringpull can (aluminium and recyclable), this is 100% old-vine Grenache and is organic, from vineyards in Navarra, Spain. It pours a pale and vibrant rose pink, with quite mellow aromas, lightly creamy red fruits. In the mouth it is lively, with a very gentle spritz on opening that dissipates, then sweetly-ripe, strawberry and papaya flavours and gentle acidity making it very easy to drink and picnic-friendly. It's quite widely available, and 31Dover.com sell a four-pack for just under £15.
(2015) This Chardonnay comes from the 500-600m altitude vineyards pf Chivite in Navarra and is fermented partly in stainless steel and partly in French oak barrels (2nd and 3rd use). It is made by Bordeaux white wine superstar Denis Dubourdieu. A lovely cool nose of schist, river stones, flint and complex sulphides, with a fabulously punchy palate, loads of fruit, loads of tangy Seville orange and lime acidity, long and really rather superb in a Chablis mould. Unfortunately it is in only six branches of Waitrose, but it is available from their online store too.
(2014) An unspecified blend of indigenous grapes, the 12% alcohol of this northern Spanish wine suggest it will be fresh, and indeed it is. There's a touch of peardrop and bubblegummy youthfulness, a hint of very ripe Ogen melon, and plenty of zesty citrus. On the palate it is vibrant and keen, with good fruit personality, and its inherent sweetness punchily counterbalanced by orange acidity. Easy to drink and nicely pitched for aperitif or lighter, salad, seafood and fish dishes.
(2014) >From vineyards in Navarra, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this unoaked and youthful Tempranillo has plenty of deep colour and a super-fresh, curranty and crunchy nose of black berries and cherries, with a hint of charcoal adding a dry, serious note. On the palate there's plenty of sweet black fruit, bursting with ripeness, though medium bodied and retaining freshness into a long finish of gentle tannins and cherry-juice acidity. Deliciously quaffable, vital stuff and great with chorizo or, indeed, chilli con carne.
(2011) 100% Garnacha (Grenache) with a very deep, light red wine colour. Creamy berry fruit, with a certain earthiness. The palate has fullness and a hint of sweetness, a jammy richness of fruit that is crowd-pleasing. Balanced acidity, but a big, creamy off-dry style.
(2011) Another Rosado from Navarra, this Garnacha (Grenache) comes from a vineyard planted in 1953. It has a deep, very crimsony pink colour, and a nicely cherry-fruited nose with a hint of red liquorice. On the palate it is firm and juicy, the pleasing old-vine concentration very natural and nicely grippy, with a long, balanced finish.
(2011) A Navarra Rosé with a chunky 13.5% alcohol and blended from Tempranillo, Garnacha and Merlot. Quite a bold, but soft ruby-pink colour, this has been aged on its lees which has given quite a mealy, serious aspect with an earthy and tobacco note, even a touch of chocolate. On the palate it has really powerful, bold flavour: much more red wine that rosé in many ways, with plenty of spice and rich red fruit - and is that a hint of barrel? Smoky, rich and serious stuff., £10, Wine Studio.
(2007) Although the 2006 vintage of this old-vine Grenache rosé might be past its best by the time you read this, I've tasted a couple of vintages of this wine and it's always spot on. The 2006 was a dry, red fruit and spice-tinged wine with refreshing, zesty acidity and a pretty decent finish.
(2007) This is a saignée from the Garnacha red, of around 10% - 15% of the must. Pale, quite vibrant pink colour. Very open and fruity, with lovely bright rose hip and cherry notes, and plenty of soft, summery strawberry. A nice sweet-fruited edge to this, with really bold, crunchy, mouth-filling fruit. The acidity is fresh, and there's a terrific tang of herbs and crunchy pomegranate acidity. Lovely stuff.