Sabina - named after the juniper tree native to the Navarra region - is made for The Society by Bodega Principe de Viana. The bodega was founded in 1983 in Murchante, around 100km south of Pamplona, and now consists of three separate wineries in Navarra, representing around 700 hectares of vineyards.
Although in the past the company stuck to much more traditional, oxidative wines that were only popular locally, they have undergone huge changes in recent years and embraced modern technology with gusto. This has helped showcase the local grapes in a whole new light - in particular tempranillo, which comprises around 27% of their plantings, but they now also plant more modern varieties like syrah and cabernet sauvignon.
The company's technological advances extend to the vineyard as well as the winery: planting is controlled by laser and GPS, and the vineyards' humidity and growth data are monitored by computer. These investments continue in the new winemaking facility, which was opened in Cadreita in 2004, and has helped increase production to 10 million bottles per year, which are exported to over 20 countries. Winemaker Pablo Pávez, who is Chilean by birth, has contributed greatly to their decidedly new-world approach to wine technology, a change in style that has made Principe de Viana representative of the best of modern Spanish winemaking.
They make a huge range of wines, but Sabina Tempranillo beautifully highlights how modernity has brought the best out of their already excellent vines: made in the joven style, it is an unoaked, honest, fruity, easy-drinking wine. What gives Sabina its extra edge is the fact that each vintage the wine contains between 5% and 10% cabernet sauvignon, giving it added lift and structure.