Aroa Bodegas ‘Le Naturel’ 2019
Spain is one of Europe’s (and hence the world’s) three largest wine producing countries and the one which is currently undergoing a very marked stylistic revolution in terms of its vinous output. Spain has a long and rich viticultural history that includes a well-established production and export of some very famous wines (think sherry and Rioja) which has provided Spain with all the necessary tools for success in today’s global wine market. However, it is a rejuvenation of mindset amongst an ever increasing number of the nation’s producers that makes this country one of most exciting to explore for today’s adventurous drinker. Gone are the days of the quantity over quality dynamic that typified the industry for a large part of the 20th century during the Franco dictatorship; likewise what came next - the desire to make wines to purely to satisfy the mass market demands of the high volume importers is thankfully now being reassessed. New Spain is all about the journey to discover authentic wines of place.
Based in the hills of historic Navarra in northern Spain, Aroa Bodegas is one such a pioneer that focuses on producing low intervention wines from cooler high elevation vineyard sites, farmed organically from the moment of planting. The whole Aroa range delivers characterful, terroir driven wines which are currently amongst the best value wines in the category at very reasonable price points. My personal favourite is the descriptively titled ‘Le Naturel’ red, based primarily on Garnacha Tinta (aka Grenache Rouge) with a small percentage of a ‘field blend’ of local grape varieties blended in.
Le Naturel captures the freshness of fruit one might expect from these cooler sites and is packed full of juicy, tangy, dark berry flavours, a satisfyingly savoury, earthy undertone with a floral lift reminiscent of violets. Like many new wave Spanish reds, Le Naturel shows not even a hint of jamminess nor sweet oak spice, replacing that with palate refreshing pleasure and a lasting impression of elegance. It’s the perfect social sipper that would work great with a cheese & charcuterie platter or pair with some of Bodega on Main’s delicious Patatas Bravas and spicy Chorizo a la Parrilla (pictured above).
Available at Legacy Wines and Marquis Wine Cellars for around $25.00 before tax.