A wine from the Magic Kingdom. (Chardonnay Showdown post #1.)
100% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel (no oak) from Spain. SRP of $14. Available online and at select retailers for as low as $12. Sample received courtesy Wines of Navarra for review purposes.
From the winemaker:
"OTAZU is unique. Besides being the northernmost winery producing red wine in Spain, it is also a setting, a vineyard, a forest, a magical landscape, and a philosophy of creating high quality wine. Set in the Cuenca de Pamplona basin, it enjoys an exceptional microclimate with mainly Atlantic influences, which favor the personality and quality of the grapes. Otazu's hallmark is the unique nature of its terroir and the continuous selection of its wines. We only make wines using grapes from the 115 hectares of our own PAGO DE OTAZU vineyards, set around the winery, which ensures their selection, personality and quality of our wines.
OK, it's not from THAT Magic Kingdom, but from the Kingdom of Navarra in Spain, in an area the winemaker just described as a "magical landscape". The Kingdom of Navarra is an autonomously ruled region in Spain (kind of like Texas 🙂 with a history going back 1,200 years. It was originally the Kingdom of Pamplona. Navarra is also a limited wine zone within the Kingdom between Rioja and Bordeaux that grows a surprising variety of of grapes. So the Kingdom of Navarra in Spain IS kind of a magical place in terms of history and winemaking but is the Otazu Chardonnay worthy of that label as well? Let's find out.
The 2009 Otazu Chardonnay has aromas of citrus, hay, lemongrass. Those same flavors are evident when tasting in addition to some apricots and melon. The thing that most stands out about this wine is that it smells and tastes remarkably like a Sauvignon Blanc. The finish is on the short side with a bit too much of a flinty component too it. Overall not bad, but if you want a Chardonnay you probably will be disappointed and if you want a Sauvignon Blanc you can probably do better for the price. The wine held up just fine on Day 2.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
Overall Rating: 6.3
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Other wines reviewed in the Kingdom of Navarra series:
2010 Castillo de Monjardin Finca El Cerezo Chardonnay - UNOAKED, Got It?
2009 Otazu Chardonnay - A Wine From the Magic Kingdom
2010 Gran Feudo Rosado - A Spanish Rosado That Can't Close the Deal
2010 Señorío de Sarría Rosado Viñedo No 5 - A Successful Spanish Rosé Without an Abundance of Fruit
2010 Bodegas San Martin Senorio de UNX Garnacha - A Blackberry Bomb
2008 Malon de Echaide Tinto Roble - A Potential Trader Joe's Superstar
2008 Bodega Inurrieta SUR - Blackberry gelato in a bottle
2007 Albret French Oak - A Smooth Spanish Blend
2010 Ochoa Moscatel De Grano Menudo - 500ml Never Went Down So Easy
2006 Marco Real Crianza & Wines of Navarra Wrap-up