Somontano, meaning ‘under the mountain’ is located among the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Ebro River Valley in the Northern region of Aragon. As a result of its unique proximity along the French border, the majority of the wines elaborated in the region acquired very particular characteristics which have been both honored and preserved. Achieving DO status in 1980, Somontano is importing more foreign varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, while both protecting and utilizing forgotten native varietals such as Parraleta.
A few weeks ago, I posted a profile on Bodegas Olvena located in Somotano after trying their 2004 Olvena Cuatro, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Syrah, at a wine tasting. Less than a week after the article was posted, I promptly received a sample of their 2005 Hache at my doorstep. Excited and eager to try the wine, I had intended to open it that night, but life took hold, and we ended up heading into Barcelona for a sordid night of Mexican food and Mojitos – one of my favorite combinations. Finally, a few nights ago, I had the opportunity sit down to a fantastic barbequed meal and try this 60% Syrah and 40% Garnacha blend. A gorgeous garnet that appears to shimmer and dance in the goblet when twirled, while aromas of dark rich forest berries envelope your senses. On the palate, blackberry with a subtle hints of charcoal gently dissolve into a earthy round finish. When decanted and left to open up over the course of 2 hours, the wine changed dramatically, becoming fuller, while allowing some of the subtle spice to come forth. Soft on the palate palate with good structure and balanced tannin and acidity, it is a fantastic wine that I would happily seek out. And if this review doesn’t convince you of the wine’s value at 21.95 Euros, consider that the Hache held itself up beautifully when paired with grilled hamburgers topped with avocado and blue cheese salsa!