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Old-Vine Spanish Mountain Garnacha Showdown

Widely planted throughout Spain and much of the Mediterranean the Garnacha grape in the right hands and right place has the ability to express the distinct characteristics of the soil and climate where it grows.

Join us this Saturday for a comparative tasting of two Spanish wines from regions capable of expressing the pinnacle of old-vine Garnacha. “La Movida Granito” is pure, joyous fruit from the granite soils of Ávila, in one of the coolest areas of the Sierra de Gredos that’s otherwise a roasty continental climate. “El Terroir” shows the clay, calcareous soils and the even cooler, wetter, Navarra sub-zone of Baja Montaña, with harmony of ripeness and freshness, and all the precision of its oceanic influence.

Maldivinas “La Movida Granito” (Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y León 2012)
Special Price: $35/bottle

MaldivinasMaldivinas1 is a partnership between childhood friends Juan arlos Arenas and Guillermo Fernandez Santos established in 2006 from plots of old vine Garnacha around the town of Cebreros some 50 miles due west of Madrid. This is traditional winemaking territory, where the slopes of the Sierra de Gredos range are recognized for the production of balanced Garnacha-based wines in a landscape that is otherwise scorching and dry. Indeed, the grape harvest there is typically earlier in the season than Navarra but the broad diurnal temperature swings allow for wines to maintain the acidity to balance all that ripe fruit.

“La Movida Granito” is a tribute to the decomposing granite soil from an organically cultivated, 4.5 acre vineyard of 90 year old vines at roughly 2,600 feet elevation. The wine is fermented by native yeasts in one concrete tank, with a percentage of whole clusters to highlight the characteristics of the fruit, and then aged in neutral oak barrels before bottling. Aromatically complex with layers of floral, berry, and spice, a sip is anything but jammy and practically begs another in short measure.

Domaines Lupier “El Terroir” (Navarra 2011)
Special Price: $35/bottle

The husband and wife team of Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar launched Domaines Lupier at roughly the same time as Maldivinas and have been garnering international accolades since their first release. Enrique has over fifteen years experience in vineyards all over Spain and an academic background in agronomic engineering and oenology. From the outset the two decided take the biodynamic approach to viticulture to improve and maintain the health of the vines using natural and sustainable practices with the ultimate goal of expressing the terroir of Navarra through wines of superb balance.

That goal was undeniably achieved with “El Terroir”. From 27 separate plots, with vines ranging from 68 years old to over 100 years old (the oldest vineyard planted in 1903) at 1,200 to 1,800 feet of elevation, around the village of San Martin de Unx. It is a deeply colored wine with a crystal clear purity of fruit rarely found in Garnacha-based wines. The result is a wine exuding aromas of dark cherries, herbs, and wildflowers. A sip is succulent dark fruit with a lengthy, elegant finish.

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Posted on 2016.07.20 in Saturday Sips Wines, Spain DO, Navarra


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