Surprisingly Fresh in Navarra with Itxas Harri #WorldWineTravel

Navarra Explorations with World Wine Travel
Navarra is a less known region in the Northeast of Spain. Our World Wine Travel writers are researching Navarra through wine and food this month. Take a look below for links to all their great finds! My posts continue to focus on low intervention, organic, biodynamic and natural wine producers, and this month is no exception.

Itxas Harri Winery – a Collaboration
Itxas Harri is a collaboration between Ignacio Ameztoi his winemaking partner, Iñaki Guelbenzu. The project is aimed at making delicious everday wines with a lighter touch, appropriate for seafood and vegetarian dishes. Their approach includes ecological farming, native yeast fermentations, no oak aging. They aim for light, refreshing wines and in this, they succeed admirably!

Itxas Harri Beltza is a lighter version of Garnacha/Tempranillo blends

Itxas Harri Beltza “Product of Spain” ($16 locally at Henry and Son) 12% abv
50/50 Garnacha and Tempranillo, more information is available here.
Eye: Pale Ruby
Nose: Medium intensity white blossoms, underripe strawberries and cherries, rosemary
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, low silky tannins, medium minus body, medium alcohol, medium flavor intensity, medium finish. Underripe red fruits dominate the flavors. Light bodied, fresh fruit with lively acidity.
Observations: Same grapes as Rioja next door, but this wine is a world apart. Perfect for lighter foods, seafoods, pintxos (this is the Basque region after all).

Itxas Harri Roxa is a refreshing Garnacha rosé

Itxas Harri Roxa 2020 ($16 locally at Henry & Son) 12.5% abv
100% Garnacha rosé, more information is available here.
Eye: pale pink-orange
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of gardenia, watermelon rind, underripe strawberries, tarragon, wet stones.
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, medium minus body, medium alcohol, medium intensity aromas, medium finish. Nice fruit intensity in this enjoyable rosé.
Observations: The Itxas Harri Roxa Rosé is less surprising than the Beltza. It’s an enjoyable rose if a bit typical for direct press rosés of the Mediterranean basin.

Itxas Harri Wines with Paella on the Gas Grill
Paella seems to be my World Wine Travel food project for 2021. After initial success I’ve decided I’d like to make it one of my comfort dishes with the recipe repeated enough to become permanently resident. What are your “don’t need a recipe” dishes?

Back at home, I found the Bomba rice I had left behind on our last trip up to the lake. I also wondered how Paella would fare on the gas grill. This paella featured mahi-mahi, shrimp, snow peas, tomatoes and brussels sprouts. While the paella turned out fine, I did not achieve that crunchy soccarat on the bottom. I’m not sure if I just needed more time or if my gas grill is not hot enough for that final step. I guess I get to try again!

World Wine Travel Writers Navarra Discoveries
Take a look at our writers’ Navarra discoveries at the links below, then come and join our chat on Saturday 25 from 10-11am CDT. You’ll find us on Twitter at #WorldWineTravel, we’d love to hear what you know about Navarra!


Comments
7 Responses to “Surprisingly Fresh in Navarra with Itxas Harri #WorldWineTravel”
  1. These wines and that Paella! It looks and sounds great Jeff!

  2. robincgc says:

    Your paella looks scrumptious! I also must say that your wine descriptions really intrigued me! “gardenia, watermelon rind, underripe strawberries, tarragon, wet stones”, I really want to try that rose! I also love the light sound of the Beltza! I know fall is coming, but I am still leaning toward lighter, more nuanced red wines these days.

  3. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    We just had the Beltza at a restaurant recently and loved it! It was one of those wines that just easily paired with everything on the table and it was also nice with a chill. Delicious!

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