This is a quite different wine than what we’re generally used to as it’s a Basque wine from the French side of Basque Country in the small town of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry. This Arrola from Irouleguy is also unique in that it’s a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

When tasting it, it’s impossible not to think, “this is a French wine”. Lighter in body and more structured, it differs a good deal from what lies across the border. The body is quite smoky at first, which is most likely due to the larger portion of Tannat that makes up the wine. As it breathes, this levels out a little, but still stays present regardless with bright acidity. While maybe not my perfect wine, it’s an interesting bottle that sits well with meals.


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