This diverse region struggles to compete against Spain's most powerful brand, Rioja. Is it time to forgo the emphasis on 'serious' red blends and international whites so that its native varieties can come to the fore? Adam Lechmere reports...
Six top Navarra wine buys
Artadi, Bodegas Artazu, Santa Cruz de Artazu 2009
£29.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
80-year-old Garnacha from 750m vineyards. Perfumed nose with black cherry and damson, sandalwood and floral scents. Complex, mineral palate, dry tannins exploding into juiciness, bright acidity. Delicious.
Domaines Lupier, La Dama Garnacha 2009
£25.99 AG Wines
From 75-to-100-year-old vines, perfumed, tarry nose with sweet black cherry fruit. Tannins ripe and nervy, fruit lifted, acidity brisk. Elegant and complex.
Nekeas, El Chaparral Old Vines Garnacha 2011
Tar and liquorice on the nose, leading to fresh, bright, lifted red cherry and ripe plum fruit and bracing acidity, held up by structured tannins.
Ochoa, Gran Reserva 2005
£20 Evingtons, Fine Wine Co, Magnum Wine Co
This Tempranillo-Merlot- Cabernet blend has a lovely fresh nose with hints of tar and green notes of tobacco leaf. Acidity very fine with sour-sweet black fruit, and structured, grainy tannins.
Inurrieta, Cuatrocientos Crianza 2010
£10.99 Christopher Piper, Hayward Bros, Vineyards of Sherborne
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Graciano from 400m-high vineyards. A nice leathery, sweet plum nose, and on the palate lots of blackberry, some cassis, cedar and spice. Very soft, integrated, well-structured tannins and a dry, food-friendly finish.
Bodega Camilo Castilla, Capricho de Goya Moscatel 2009
£19 Haslemere Cellar
Aged for three years in glass demijohns, a superb, intensely sweet raisined nose, with a palate of dried apricots, peach and honey, balanced by salinity and fine acidity. Mouthwatering, unctuous and opulent.