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2012 Artazuri Garnacha 

Navarre, Spain

Retail $12

Among Spain's most important wine-producing regions, Navarre is just north of Rioja in mountainous northern Spain — east of Basque country and straddling the Pyrenees. Navarre's diverse geography and varied climate help produce high-quality wines. Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle, owner/vintner of Bodegas Artadi, which makes Artazuri, arrived in the area in the 1990s and has reinvigorated winemaking there. He purchased a few of the ancient vineyard blocks around Artazu and planted cuttings from older vines in the alluvial, brown limestone and clay-calcareous soils of vineyards at 1,600 feet above sea level. Vinification occurs in open vats with 48 hours of cold maceration followed by fermentation over 12 to 14 days. The wine is racked to 500-liter French oak barrels for four months of aging. In the glass, it exhibits aromas of fresh red and black berries and subtle oak notes. On the palate, taste strawberry, cherry and plum with modest tannins and restrained acidity. Decant 20 minutes before serving. Drink it with braised short ribs, stuffed bell peppers, lamb stew, coq au vin, burgers, cheeses and roasted vegetables. Buy it at: W.I.N.O. Shop.

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