Florencio Navarro's The Artisan Collection
Florencio Navarro is one of a new generation of young and dynamic importers who are bringing selections of high quality wines from small artisanal producers to the US market. A native of Salamanca whose family has been in the wine business for several generations, Florencio established Quality Wines of Spain in 2003 to import artisanal wines from his home country. He later expanded his portfolio to include the wines of Portugal, South America, France, Germany and other countries. Today, his company, now called The Artisan Collection, imports the wines of 40 artisanal producers, 60% from Spain (which are also sold as Quality Wines of Spain) and the rest from around the world. The wines of the Artisan Collection are sold in 30 states.
In this article we report the results of a portfolio tasting of the Artisan Collection, which we recently held in New York with Florencio Navarro. The tasting consisted of 30 new releases, primarily from Spain, South America, France and Germany. Our reviews of previous releases of these wines can be found in the archive.)
The Artisan Collection's portfolio consists of wines that are all from small family-owned estates, often several generations old. The wines are estate-bottled, and many are sourced from old low-yielding vineyards. The wines are both traditional and modern in style. Some are fruit forward and easy drinking with good texture and a modicum of complexity. Others are more complex and earthy, fermented with native yeast and revealing their distinct terroir. With few exceptions, the wines are made in very small quantities and, in some instances, minuscule amounts. Overall, the quality of the wines is high and the prices are reasonable, with some outstanding values.
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