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Navarra Uncorked: Bodega Otazu Crianza 2006

“You need to take pleasure in life's daily little treasures. It is the most important thing in measuring success.” ~Denis Waitley

Many folks today are looking for the pot of gold, seeking the buried treasure or hoping to get rich quick by hitting the mega-millions jackpot, understandable in today's economy that desire is even more amplified. But in that pursuit it's far too easy to run by the many treasures which lies easily within our reach.

The every-day treasures, like getting every green light on the way home from work, getting off work early before a big weekend, a well made meal waiting on the table as you walk in the door after a long day or perhaps even a great bottle of wine. To me it's those little things, that can be a real game changer. In my experience, a great bottle of wine; is like a work of art or a thought provoking book, one that helps me shine a big-bright-light, to find a way out of the mundane.

It was just last year in July uhh, I mean September, that I and a team of wine-writers from the states, had an amazing opportunity to visit one of very best wine regions in the world and in my opinion some world-class wineries. An area known as the Kingdom of Navarra; a region that for many is simply and sadly flying under the radar. I think that's especially so for the average vino sapien, walking the aisles of their local wine store thirsting for wines with a soul. If you were to take a small poll and ask ten random vino-sapiens to name a winery from that region, that they would be hard pressed to come up with answer to the question, let alone even know where Navarra is located on a map [sad to say].

Now you've most likely read those words before, "wines with a soul" but what does this mean? The idea came about during conversation with a good friend, a fellow wine-geek and blogger, known to many as the Wandering-Wino. It's a phrase I will directly attribute to him and give him full credit for the concept. It's that idea or concept which I mention in my posts time to time in relation to a few wines which remind me of that phrase.

In today's review of the 2006 Bodega Otazu Crianza I’m again reminded of that concept of wines with “soul”. For me the concept is simple; it means you can see, smell and taste that a wine came from a place, it doesn't have that manufactured look and feel, there's no slimy residue, something I find in many bulk-wine facility producers, where "efficiencies of scale" are their claim to fame [you know who they are]. In my opinion those wines seem as though they have been formulated in the chemistry lab and honestly who wants to drink wine that is better suited for the sippy-cup than a nice stem. 
So in keeping with the theme of today's review, of finding everyday treasures of life, I present to you a wine I brought all the way home from Spain last year, although you can actually find it here in relative quantity, I loved this wine so much I just scored another half case of this beauty for under a Benjamin with shipping and that folks is quite a deal. Because dollar for dollar, the quality of this juice beats the snot out of so many other wines, even in higher price points. So yes, we are talking some serious QPR here, as this wine sells for under $15 most places, making this wine an everyday luxury, one that helps take a large bite out of the hum·drum

Even after the last drop had been slurped down, delicate, yet abundant aromas still swirling about in the glass afterward, very nice. It's most likely the same experience we all have, as we get a whiff of fresh baked bread in the morning breeze, it's hard to get enough of that tantalizing aromas. In the glass a dark cherry red with bright garnet tones. Elegant aromas flood the nose; tea leaves, dark plum, florals and a bit of under-brush. After the first splash down, ripe plum, black-cherry fruit, sweet spices [a dusting of clove] delicate hints of cedar nuances, neatly tucked in with the fruit, making for optimum balance between fruit and the seemingly nearly neutral oak presence.

Wow, how a wine in this price point achieved such complexity is just amazing to me. The approach on this wine from beginning to end is very pleasant, a silky entrance with no fuss and no muss, I didn’t even decant it, just let it warm up to room temperature after removing from the cellar in the morning. If you like freshly evenly balanced wine, this wine has it in spades. The Bodega Otazu Crianz is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I gave it a score of 91 points and highly recommend you giving it a swirl, sometime soon. Until next folks, please continue to sip long and prosper cheers!


Beau said…
Weren't we there in September?
Wandering Wino said…
Sounds like some good juice! Much appreciate the shout out!

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