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The Surprisingly Good 1993 Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva


Bodegas Ochoa was founded in 1845 and is located north-east of Rioja in Navarra.  There is not much out there about the 1993 Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva besides a miserable 80 points from Wine Spectator.  I try to avoid reading about wines before I taste them but I honestly was not expecting much from this bottle.  Indeed when I started decanting the wine I was somewhat alarmed by the very tawny color void of all purple pigment.  Perhaps this lack of traditional color explains why it was full of sediment.  In Julian Jeffs’ The Wines of Spain (1999) he writes of their wines, “All of these reds have serious aging potential.”  This apparently was true for the wine was immediately aromatic and full of flavor. The bottle was a treat to drink until the very end.  I kept wondering how a wine with such mature flavors could taste so fresh.   And then I wished I had more.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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1993 Bodegas Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva –
Imported by Frontier Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 70% Tempranillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon which was aged for over two years in a mixture of American and French oak.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was an almost medium tawny and looked rather old.  The nose was aromatic from the start with ripe aromas and wood box.  With air the nose developed an attractive polished wood aroma.  In the mouth the wine was round with a little weight and nice balance between fruit and acidity.  There were mature red fruit flavors and a generally fresh nature to the mature flavors.  With air the flavors took on more red cherry and contracted a bit to become a touch firmer.  The freshness remained with juicy acidity, a musky and minerally finish, lipstick expansion, and a good coating aftertaste.  Nice wine.  *** Now-2019.

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