Spanish Dessert Wines
- Silky Sweeties
The beautiful wine region of Navarre, just east of Spain’s famous Rioja region, is mainly known for its “Rosado” wines and increasingly for its dry reds. The region is quite varied with wine production taking place in the north, around the towns of Olite (a marvellous medieval village), Estella and Tafalla. The south of Navarre, around Tudela, is more dedicated to agriculture and is considered to be the breadbasket of Spain, with many vegetables being cultivated. Peppers from Navarre (the spicy “Piquillo” variety) are the most famous export. Navarre is brimming with wine activity and benefits from having a very similar climate and terroir as La Rioja, but far less restrictive winemaking practices. In La Rioja, for example, it is virtually prohibited to grow foreign varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, while in Navarre it is not and therefore Navarran wineries have much more freedom to experiment. One of the recent phenomena of the area is a burst of excellent Moscatels being made by such highly prestigious wineries as Ochoa and Chivite (whose Gran Feudo brand is excellent). The Moscatel varietals produces very “grapey” wines that are fruity and sweet but with a nice, bracing acidity.
Best Navarre dessert wines include:
Piedemonte Moscatel- 100% Moscatel. Golden color, very grapey on the nose, fresh on the palate with a refreshing acidity.
Ochoa Dulce de Moscatel- 100% Moscatel. Quite a floral nose, deliciously light on the palate, not cloying at all, rather a sweet wine with good acidity.
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