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  • Ferran Centelles
Written by
  • Ferran Centelles
8 Mar 2018

8 March 2018  To provide a backdrop for the tasting article Dani Landi goes it alone, we're republishing this overview of the Sierra de Gredos region by our Spanish specialist Ferran Centelles, as part of our Throwback Thursday series of delves into the archive of our 10,000 articles. 

19 October 2016 Sierra de Gredos is a wine region that has been attracting the attention of many wine professionals and wine lovers recently. Some of the reasons for the increased interest are its proximity to Madrid, the emergence of newcomer producers in a region traditionally dominated by co-operatives, the quality potential of the old vines, and the stylistic profile of their delicate Garnachas, a world away from the concentrated, broad and dark Garnachas from Aragon or Priorat.

The region does not have its own appellation yet as it is part of three different provinces. In the south of Avila province, wines are labelled as Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León. In the north of Toledo province is small area within the Méntrida appellation. And west of Madrid the wines are labelled Vinos de Madrid but are very different from other areas within that denomination such as Navalcarnedo and Arganda.

As Luis Gutierrez reported in 2011 in Offbeat Spain - Gredos Garnacha, under the three different appellations there is a single geographical unit where Garnacha has ruled peacefully for decades together with the local white grape Albillo Real (see this wine of the week, for instance). 

Gredos has already received recognition as a unique wine region, but I hope they will be given their own appellation as nothing looks more like a real geographical unit than the Sierra de Gredos.

It is a mountainous region, flooded with old Garnacha vines planted at an elevation of between 600 and 1,200 m (1,970-3,940 ft). The soils are mainly granitic and sandy with some areas including slate around the village of Cebreros in Avila province. The climate is certainly continental but the topography is extremely varied and there are many different mesoclimates within the region.

Sierra de Gredos might be divided into three different valleys, which guided me in planning this tasting of 42 Gredos Garnachas.

Firstly I present the wines of the Valle de Alberche, which is slightly hotter and drier than most of the Gredos region. The renowned village of Cebreros is here and Alberche is home to some of the finest producers, as you can deduce from the remarkable scores I gave Arrayán, Marañones, Rubén Díaz and 4 Monos.

Next are the wines from the Valle Alto Alberche, which is extremely continental and really cold at nights. It is the latest to be harvested and is higher in elevation peaking at 1,200 m. Some of the wines from Alfredo Maestro and Comando G are noteworthy in terms of quality and style.

Finally come the wines from the Valle del Tiétar, which is much rainier. Elevations are up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and the climate is Mediterranean with producers such as Canopy and Daniel Landi achieving some of the higher scores of the tasting.

Gredos wines taste very burgundian, less extracted, more ethereal and lighter than the majority of Spanish Garnachas. The alcohol perception might be high but the wines manage to retain some lightness, generating a unique and recognisable style.

However, treating Grenache like a Pinot Noir requires great skill, knowledge and experience, which is not a possibility open to every winery. Some wines showed an excess of oak and premature evolution while others displayed great finesse, delicacy and ethereal expression.

The younger versions and wines made by semi-carbonic maceration are also remarkable; El Rey del Glam from Alfredo Maestro is a great example of this.

The winemaking concept practised in general is also significant: Very limited production, lots of producers using wild yeast, little sulphur, long and gentle skin contact during maceration, up to 60 days for wines such as Tumba del Rey Moro, a fascinating bottle achieving 17.5. It seems that producers intensely search for authenticity over perfection, taking risks in the winemaking process so that I detected advanced oxidation and farmyard aromas in some wines. I am not sure Garnacha, with its limited acidity, is the best grape to take such risks with. On the other hand, when accurate winemaking is practised, it can be magnificent, as in the case of Daniel Landi's Las Iruelas, which displayed great elegance and depth.

There is no doubting the potential of this new style of Garnacha from Spain, although I think there is still a long way to go. Most of the wines are priced ambitiously at a level that requires a high standard, ageing potential and the assurance that quality will remain over the years - factors that only the best wine regions can assure in the majority of their wines. Time will tell if this is the case in Gredos.

The labelling merits a comment. Most Gredos labels are very lively and trendy. They don't look classical at all and the name of the vine grower tends to dominate the name of the winery, as in Burgundy in a very terroir-driven approach. You will also find lots of single-vineyard wines from superb hidden plots retrieved and re-evaluated by Sierra de Gredos producers.

A little white wine is produced in a rich, creamy, broad style. I particularly liked the superbly burgundian Pies Descalzos Albillo. I would also like to highlight an astonishing Albillo produced in an old solera system. Tone 7 by Rubén Díaz merits a rating of 18 and can be compared to a great Amontillado - although it is not fortified.

Finally I have selected a few sentences from two remarkable producers, as they perfectly encapsulate what is happening today in Sierra de Gredos.

Fernando Garcia from Bodega Marañones and Comando G points out, 'It is not so long ago that our region was producing just bulk wine' and continues, 'The Gredos wines express clearly their location and origin; they are wines that listen to their terroir.'

José Benavides Jimenez Landi says, 'The wines from Gredos are the finest and more elegant expression of Garnacha in Spain'.

I am very thankful to all the producers who sent samples for me to taste in relaxed circumstances in my office. The majority of the wines are complex and far from facile so they really deserve time and effort to be correctly assessed. 

The 45 wines are grouped by valley, and within each group the wines are in alphabetical order by producer (sur)name. However, you can now use our brand new tasting-note sorting feature to rearrange the order within groups. If you do change the order, you can get back to the original version by choosing 'default'.


VALLE DE ALBERCHE

  • 4 Monos, La Danza del Viento Sierra de Gredos 2013 Vinos de Madrid

    70-year-old, single-vineyard Garnacha located in the San Martin de Valdeiglesias area. Sandy and granitic soils at 750 m. Very low yields of 1,800 kg/ha. Hand-harvested and extended maceration for 40 days. Minimum intervention during winemaking. Aged for 15 months in used French oak.
    Very open nose combining ripe red fruit and a very toasty and oaky aspect. The palate is completely ethereal with a sensual texture. Very soft and delicate Garnacha despite the warm alcohol. Delicate and very pleasurable style. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2020
    16
  • Ambiz, Doré 2015 Vino de España

    40-year-old Chasselas planted on granitic soils at 750 m. Limited yields to 2,000 kg/ha. Produced in a natural way with minimum intervention in both vineyard and winery.
    It looks and tastes almost like a natural cider, showing acidic green apple. Very natural, markedly oxidative character on the palate and slightly harsh back palate. Only for those loving very wild and natural wines. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2016-2018
    14
  • Ambiz Albillo 2014 Vino de España

    40-year-old Albillo planted on granitic soils at 750 m. Limited yields to 2,000 kg/ha. Produced in a natural way with minimum intervention in both vineyard and winery.
    Very cloudy aspect and unconventional looking. The nose displays very herby and floral character with chamomile and yeasty notes. On the palate the lees are clearly marked, very wild and almost tasting like a natural cider. Not oxidised but tumultuous in style. Abstain if you are not a natural-wine follower. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15
  • Ambiz Garnacha 2014 Vino de España

    40-year-old Garnacha planted on granite soils at 850 m. Limited yields to 2,000 kg/ha. Fabio Bartolomei, the producer, is an ardent proponent of minimum intervention in both vineyard and winery. No chemicals, allowing all the plants and microflora to progress in the vineyard. Wild yeast, infrequent punchdowns and no other additions to the wine. Only very old oak barrels used.
    This is a very wild wine. Just for those who love extreme natural wines. Juicy, ripe and voluminous with unpolished tannins. Full of herbaceous notes and a detectable volatile acidity (vinegar). Despite its imperfections, the palatable dark fruit still holds it with certain balance. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    14.5
  • Arrayán, La Suerte de Arrayán Garnacha 2013 Méntrida

    Garnacha. Old vines planted in 1950, situated at Real de San Vicente village on sandy and granitic soils at 700 m elevation. Hand-harvested, wild ferment, maceration by punch down and 12 months' ageing in French oak. 6,000 bottles.
    The wine is on the delicate side, with lots of sweet notes, sweet spices and generous alcohol. Very pleasant overall sensation, still light on the palate despite the alcohol, uncomplicated and mellow but not deep. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15.5
  • Arrayán Garnacha 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    100% Garnacha. 60-year-old vines planted in slate soils at Cerberos villages. 980 m elevation and gradient of 32%. Hand-harvested, fermented in open barrels and macerated for 28 days. 14 months' ageing in 500-litre French oak casks. Production limited to 1,296 bottles.
    The nose is very expressive, dominated by ripe red cherry and well supported by gentle oak. The palate is warm but not heavy. It has a convincing ethereal richness and sweet tannins with delicate and integrated acidity. Well made and satisfying the stylistic expectations of Sierra de Gredos. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16.5
  • Rubén Díaz, Surprise Saca de Chasselas 2014 Vino de España

    Chasselas Doré. Oxidative white wine produced without fortification leaving headspace (ullage) in the barrel. Production is extremely limited.
    Cloudy amber colour with copper hints. Very complex nose showing toast, nuts, reminiscent of an amontillado - smoke and slightly resinous. It tastes midway between an amontillado and an orange natural wine, slightly meaty underneath and keeping an appreciable acidity. Unconventional and difficult to put into context but still really surprising and satisfactory. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2020
    16
  • Rubén Díaz, La Sorpresa Tonel 7 Cebreros Albillo NV Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Albillo produced in a solera system started in 2004, taking a 100- year-old ‘forgotten’ wine found in the Díaz cellar. The barrels are left with a headspace (ullage) to achieve the oxidative character.
    This is a very fascinating sherry-style wine, it tastes like a very old amontillado but with a superb alcohol integration. Extremely complex on the nose showing toast, nuts, saltiness and iodine. Very motivating interpretation of an oxidative wine with its own soul. Concentrated and pungent back palate. Outstanding. (FC)

    15.5%
    Drink 2016-2030
    18
  • Don Juan del Águila, Gaznata Finca Mariano 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Old-vine Garnacha planted on granitic soils. 12 months' ageing in French oak barrels.
    The wine is extremely ripe displaying some port-like aromas, dried prunes, chocolate and wicker. It still keeps rounded, massive fruit but the extreme ripeness makes it taste slightly disjointed. (FC) 

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    14
  • Don Juan del Águila, Gaznata Concrete 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Old-vine Garnacha, unoaked but aged for 14 months in concrete tank.
    The wine is slightly closed, it shows earthy aromas, smoke, floral notes and small red berries. It is slightly austere on the palate, displaying chalky, drying tannins and moderate complexity, although the wine has good construction. A producer to follow. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15.5
  • Don Juan del Águila, Gaznata Finca Ciprio 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Old-vine Garnacha. Single vineyard and aged for 12 months in 500-litre barrels.
    The wine has gone too far in terms of ripeness and maturity and it shows very sweet fruit and oxidative character. It has a warm sensations on the palate followed by lots of sweet spices. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    14
  • Maldivinas, La Movida Granito 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha planted on granitic soils. Fermented with indigenous yeast and aged for 13 months in large oak casks.
    Very delicate style, showing ripe red fruit, touch of toast and sweet spices such as cloves. Very ripe on the palate with limited acidity and tiny, delicate, sweet tannins. I like the ethereal style but it is slightly limited in concentration. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2015
    15
  • Maldivinas, La Movida Canalla 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. Fermented with wild yeast and aged for 13 months in large oak casks.
    The wine seems to be past its best showing overripe, sweet fruit and disjointed alcohol sensation. It is a light Garnacha style but it is too oxidised. I would prefer to taste a younger vintage. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2015
    14
  • Maldivinas, La Movida Pizarra 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. Single-vineyard wine planted on granitic soils at 850 m. The vineyard has three different aspects of the slope that are fermented separately. Hand-harvested, 50% full cluster and cold maceration. Aged for 12 months in 500-litre oak barrels.
    It is very varietal on the nose, showing lots of ripe and juicy fruit, herbal notes and delicate expression. It has higher levels of acidity than the average Garnacha from Gredos. Mellowed and tender tannins, quite refined on the palate. Well made although it will not keep for long. I particularly like it in terms of style: light and rounded and not massive at all. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2016
    16
  • Marañones, Piesdecalzos Albillo 2014 Vinos de Madrid

    Albillo Real. 50-year-old single vineyard planted on granitic soils at 750 m. Very restrained yields of 15 hl/ha. Hand-harvested and wild -fermented in used French barrels. Neither cold stabilised nor filtered. Aged for 12 months in 700-litre used French casks. Limited production of 1.900 bottles.
    Very expressive and great nose showing ripe peach, creamy sensation and mineral notes. It is very rounded on the palate, body and fruit supported by balancing acidity. Big and deep. Superbly made and in good shape. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2015-2018
    17
  • Marañones Garnacha 2013 Vinos de Madrid

    Garnacha from 50- to 70-year-old vines. Granitic soils and elevation of 750-850 m. Low yields of 20 hl/ha. Whole bunch, cold maceration and fermentation in 33-hl French oak casks. 12 months' ageing in 500-litre barrels.
    Very delicate, burgundy style on the aromatics with spirity accent. It shows ripe sweet cherries, spiciness and touch of wet leaves. I particularly like the style, unctuous and ripe palate, very ripe-fruit sensation but still keeping superb balance. The oak is very well integrated. Clean, well delineated and trend-setting in terms of style. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2020
    16.5
  • Marañones, Peña Caballera Garnacha 2013 Vinos de Madrid

    Garnacha. High elevation and sloped single vineyard planted in San Martin de Valdeiglesias area at 850 m. 50- to 70-year-old vines in granitic soils. Very low yields 15hl/ha. The grapes are not destalked; cold maceration and fermented in 33-hl French oak casks. Neither clarified nor filtered. 12 months' ageing in 500-litre French oak barrels. Limited production of 2,500 bottles.
    It shows a very open nose, sweet herbs with hints of earthiness and sweet fruit underneath. The palate is ethereal and silky although the tannins are slightly bitter. Harmonious but not particularly concentrated. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Rubor, Sade Albillo 2014 Vino de España

    Albillo from Cebreros village. Very old vines planted on granitic soils. The white grapes are fermented on skins for one month, with subsequent ageing of ten months in barrel on its lees. Very limited production of 248 bottles.
    Tremendously rare wine from Rubor Viticultures - a micro project releasing lots of different wines with a very unconventional approach. The wine has a really oxidative and caramelised character showing candied orange, honey, earthiness and touch of leather. The palate is voluminous, very creamy and deep but the oxidative character dominates the palate. I am sure it will please orange-wine followers although it is too extreme for me. (FC) 

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15.5
  • Rubor, Groove Garnacha 2013 Vino de España

    Garnacha. 70-year-old single vineyard planted on granite soils. The wine is aged in 500-litre barrels for six months. Micro project and less than 650 bottles produced.
    The colour is darker and deeper than the average Garnacha from Gredos. The nose shows complexity, earth, black tea, herbaceous character, leafy and tobacco. The fruit is slightly hidden. On the palate it is very sweet, with high ripeness testing the limits, tannins are a bit austere but the wine is overall balanced. Not sure about its ageing capacity as it already has some oxidative notes. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15
  • Rubor, 7 Pulgadas Garnacha 2013 Vino de España

    Old-vine Garnacha, a single vineyard located in Navarrevisca village in Avila province. Aged for 12 months in 500-litre French oak barrels.
    I had high expectations for this celebrated micro-project wine from Gredos. The wine shows an oxidative character with extreme ripeness. It has a mushroom character and touch of leather with ripe fruit underneath. On the palate it is warm with delicate acidity, the fruit does not shine due to the oxidative character. A producer to follow but I don’t think the 2013 will keep for long. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15

VALLE ALTO ALBERCHE

  • Alto Alberche, 7 Navas Joven 2014 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. Limited yields of 3,500 kg/ha. Stainless-steel wild fermentation after crushing. Unoaked. 3,300 bottles produced.
    Very youthful, simple but well made. It is uncomplicated and has generous fruit. Easy drinking with an integrated alcohol and sweet fruit on the palate. It is great for what it is but not intended for ageing. GV (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Alto Alberche, 7 Navas Joven 2012 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha yielding 3,000 kg/ha. Hand-harvested, sorting table, crushing and wild-yeast fermentation in stainless steel, subsequent ageing for six months in new French oak.
    The wine has an easy approach showing ripe red fruit, plums and touch of dairy. It is uncomplicated, well made but not particularly deep. Well balanced, drinkable but tannins are still drying. Comfortable, youthful roble style. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2018
    15
  • Alto Alberche, 7 Navas Faustina 2012 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. Single vineyard, over 85 years old planted at 1,100 m elevation on granitic soils. Sorting table, and wild fermented in used French oak barrels for 15 months. Not filtered.
    A very ripe and dark expression of Garnacha showing blackberries, lots of spices and starting to evolve into a beetroot and earthy character. The style is a bit old-fashioned, driven by palatable oak, and lightly drying. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2015-2018
    14.5
  • Alto Alberche, 7 Navas Catalino 2012 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. It is a 55-year-old single vineyard, planted on granitic soils at 850 m. Sorting table and wild-yeast fermentation in oak casks, aged for 13 months in French oak barrels. Production limited to 1,500 bottles.
    It expresses a dark black fruit combined with an oaky, mushroom and leathery character. It has a very concentrated fruit expression but tannins are a bit austere and drying out. It is a promising single vineyard but the winemaking is a bit rustic. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2015-2018
    15
  • Comando G, La Bruja de Rozas Sierra de Gredos Vino de Pueblo 2014 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. 60 to 70 years old and planted on granitic sandy soils. Vino de pueblo is written on the label indicating a village-style wine coming from different vineyards within the Rozas del Puerto Real village at 900 m. It produces low yields of 35 hl/ha. Fermented in large oak casks and stainless steel. Very extended maceration reaching 60 days. Aged in foudres and 500-litre barrels for eight months.
    Very positive, mineral character to begin with, almost flinty and showing complex earthy and herbaceous character. The nose is very attractive. Very delicate on the palate, lingering superbly with an ethereal richness. Superb example of the potential and style of the wines from Gredos. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2020
    17
  • Comando G, Rozas 1er Cru Sierra de Gredos Vino de Paraje 2014 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha from four different plots. 60-year-old vines planted on granitic sandy soils. 900 m elevation and limited yields to 30 hl/ha. Whole-cluster fermentation in oak casks, wild yeasts and extended maceration of 60 days. Aged in 500-litre French oak barrels for 12 months. Not stabilised or filtered.
    The wine is very closed and it seems less expressive than the last time I tasted it. It is delicate and soft textured; however, the meaty character seems to dominate the fruit. I would recommend decanting. It is probable that the animal flavour will persist. (FC) 

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Comando G, Tumba del Rey Moro Sierra de Gredos Vino de Parcela 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Ungrafted 70-year-old single vineyard Garnacha. 0.5 ha planted on granitic and sandy soils at 1,100 m. Yields of 20 hl/ha.Wild-yeast fermentation in large oak casks with an extended maceration of 60 days. 14 months' ageing in foudres. Not stabilised or filtered.
    Very captivating aromas, subtle and delicate but tremendously expressive. It shows liquorice, plums, cherries, marmalade and a touch of nail varnish, keeping great definition. Totally burgundian in style, sensual texture and polished tannins. I am not sure about the ageing capacity but it has a great delicacy and depth today. Very impressive example of Garnacha. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2016-2020
    17.5
  • Alfredo Maestro, El Rey del Glam Sierra de Gredos 2015 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. 70-year-old vines found in Navarredondilla (Avila) at 1,100 m. South-facing, sandy granitic slope. Hand-harvested, produced without destalking by carbonic maceration, fermented in stainless-steel tanks left outdoors after malolactic fermentation, taking advantage of the severe winter conditions to naturally clarify the wine.
    Overwhelming youthfulness, clean and pure fruit, totally smooth and soft for such a young wine, it gives immediate pleasure. Wonderfully sweet, low tannins and uncomplicated. One of the best carbonic-maceration wines I have ever tasted. It will not keep for long but you can make the most of its explosive fruit now. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2016-2018
    17
  • Alfredo Maestro, El Marciano Sierra de Gredos 2015 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. 70-year-old vines planted at 1,100 m in Navarredondilla (Avila). Granitic and sandy soils. Hand-harvested, whole-bunch wild fermentation after crushing. Stainless-steel tanks left outdoors after malolactic fermentation for a natural clarification of the wine.
    Very open nose, it clearly seems a natural wine, it has a touch of nail varnish that hides the sweet-fruit character. The wine has a great reputation with natural-wine lovers but I think it lacks definition and depth. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2016-2018
    14.5

VALLE DEL TIÉTAR

  • Canopy, Loco Garnacha Blanca 2013 Méntrida

    Garnacha Blanca from two different plots (58 and 60 years old). Bush-training and sandy soils. Hand-harvested and fermented in both barrels and stainless-steel tanks. Aged for six months in tank and barrels. Limited production of 2,970 bottles.
    Loco means 'mad' in Spanish, and the bottles are unusually packaged in a straitjacket. The wine is very open and has a low-sulphur sensation represented in a marked oxidative style. It has notes of cider and a buttery sensation. The evolution is still well supported by fruit concentration. Abstain if you are not fans of the style. It has enough body and depth. Particularly creamy on the back palate. (FC) 

    14%
    Drink 2015-2017
    15.5
  • Canopy, Tres Patas 2014 Méntrida

    Garnacha. 45-year-old vines. Cold maceration, aged in new and used oak for eight months, not stabilised, unfiltered. 13,500 bottles produced.
    It shows a slight evolution, wet leaves, ripe black fruit and lots of spices such as cloves. Still expressive and varietal. Tannins are very ripe and mellow, they combine with dark-fruit flavours and a bitter-sweet back palate. Garnacha in the rich and broad style. (FC) 

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Canopy, Malpaso 2014 Méntrida

    Syrah. 21-year-old vines planted on sandy soils. Cold maceration and aged for 12 months in new and used French oak casks. 19,300 bottles produced.
    The wine shows complexity and reductive character, it quickly improves after decanting. On the nose it shows sweet black fruit, herby character, touch of smoke and lots of complexity. Rich and robust but still mellow. It has a spicy and meaty finish. Remarkable Syrah-based wine. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    17
  • Canopy, Castillo de Belarfonso Garnacha 2014 Méntrida

    Garnacha. 60-year-old vines coming from granitic soils. Cold maceration and fermented and aged five months in barrels. 16,340 bottles produced.
    The aromatic profile shows darker fruit, pungent spices and a smoky touch. It is slightly atypical compared with the standard Garnacha from Gredos. It is quite convincing, with ripe blackberries, black pepper and touch of meatiness. Superbly filled with fruit, texturised tannins and rounded mid palate. It has lots of fruits and is really expressive. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16.5
  • Canopy, La Viña Escondida 2011 Méntrida

    Garnacha. Single-vineyard wine from 65-year-old vines planted on granitic soils. The vineyard has different sun exposures. Hand-harvested, cold-fermented, foot-trodden, fermented and aged for 15 months in 2,000-litre French oak casks.
    Very light and delicate overall sensation, the nose is not too expressive but it has a refined herbal character and bouquet. Very refined, ethereal and polished. Burgundy-style Garnacha. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2016
    16
  • Canopy, Kaos Garnacha 2010 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. 50- to 65-year-old vines planted on slate soils. Cold maceration for 15 days, full cluster fermentation without pumping over. 20 months' ageing in 500-litre French oak barrels. Limited production to 1,585 bottles.
    The wine is quite elegant, very delicate nose full of toasty notes, spices and developed bouquet, evolved but not tired. Very classical approach, with oak dominating, light and delicate but tannins still marked. Little fruit on the palate but lovely tertiary expression. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2017
    16
  • Hoyanki Garnacha 2013 Vino de España

    80-year-old Garnacha vines planted on granitic soils at 1,000 m. Low yields of 2,500 kg/ha. Hand-harvested, totally destalked, cold maceration and fermented without inoculated yeast. Aged for nine months in French oak barrels. Production limited to 850 bottles.
    The wine is very open and oxidative, it has a nail-varnish sensation that hides the fruit character on the nose. On the palate it has an earthy flavour, grainy expression and filled with ripe, black fruit. It still keeps a light profile. Very natural approach. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2016-2020
    15.5
  • Jiménez-Landi, Sotorrondero 2014 Méntrida

    Garnacha, Syrah. Extreme continental climate. The vineyard is planted between 550 and 650 m on granitic sandy soils. Moderate yields of 3,500 kg/ha. Cold maceration, wild yeast and 30% full-cluster fermentation. Aged for 12 months in large oak casks.
    Very open nose showing floral notes, herbaceous character and black fruit. Very integrated tannins, not massive and displaying vibrant fruit. Not particularly long but very natural-wine oriented. It will not keep long but is satisfying and authentic now. (FC) 

    14%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Jiménez-Landi, Bajondillo 2014 Méntrida

    Garnacha, Syrah, Cabernet. Extreme continental climate. The vineyard is planted between 550 and 650 m on granitic sandy soils. Moderate yields of 3,500 kg/ha. 70% destemmed, cold maceration before fermentation. Aged for six months in both stainless steel and large oak casks.
    The wine has gone too far in terms of oxidation. It has a really marked nail-varnish sensation that does not allow the fruit to shine. It is rounded and has savoury fruit with sweet tannins. Produced in a youthful style but over-dominated by the oxidation.  This may have been a bad bottle; see Jancis's earlier tasting note. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2014-2016
    14
  • Jiménez-Landi, Ataúlfos 2014 Méntrida

    60-year-old and single vineyard Garnacha. It is planted on sandy granitic soils at 830 m elevation. The wine ferments in large oak casks and ages for 20 months in large barrels. Not clarified or filtered.
    The nose is open and starting to evolve, it shows a very ripe and sweet aspect, prominent sweet fruit, dark chocolate, prunes and cherry brandy. The palate is voluminous, slightly warm but keeping the balance thanks to a generous fruit texture. It finishes with a bittersweet aftertaste. The wine is already peaking. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    15.5
  • Jiménez-Landi, Piélago 2014 Méntrida

    40- to 60-year-old Garnacha planted from 750 to 850 m on sandy granitic soils. Moderate yields of 3,500 kg/ha. Fermented in large oak cask with four days of cold maceration, full cluster and wild yeast. The wine is aged for 14 months in large oak casks.
    It has a very subtle nose driven by very ripe black cherries, touch of earthiness and dry herbs. It is very savoury and balanced displaying noticeable but well-integrated alcohol, sinewy tannins and mellow overall sensation. Easy to understand despite its natural approach. (FC)

    15%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Daniel Gómez Jiménez-Landi, Las Iruelas Sierra de Gredos 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. 70-year-old single vineyard planted on slate and red clay soils. 1,000 m elevation and extremely limited yields of 15 hl/ha. Whole cluster and very long maceration of 60 days. The wine is aged in 500-litre barrels for 12 months. Not clarified or filtered.
    The wine has a developed light garnet colour. The nose is very open and shows lots of different aromas such as ripe red fruits, floral, herbaceous notes and herbal character. The wine is light but flavourful, very polished and soft textured. It has a burgundian style, completely looking towards elegance. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2020
    17.5
  • Daniel Gómez Jiménez-Landi, El Reventón Cebreros Sierra de Gredos 2013 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Garnacha. Single vineyard and 70-year-old vines planted on slate and red clay soils. Wild yeast and very long fermentation for 60 days. The wine is aged in 50-litre oak barrels for 12 months. Not clarified or filtered.
    The nose seems slightly closed, showing a mushroom character, very ripe red fruit, leathery sensation and ash. Very pleasurable now but not sure if the leathery sensation will overshadow the fruit over time. The palate is ethereal and soft but the overall expression of the wine is already mature. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2018
    16
  • Daniel Ramos, Zerberos El Altar Garnacha 2014 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Mainly Garnacha from two different plots, 65 and 85 years old, planted on granitic sandy soils. North-facing slope of 20% gradient at 900 m. Limited yields of 3,000 kg/ha. Hand-harvested and totally destalked, very extended maceration of 55 days. Aged in used 600-litre oak barrels.
    Very delicate and complex aromas showing ripe cherries, floral notes, touch of leather and orange peel. Deliciously fine, showing an ethereal richness, totally integrated tannins and keeping remarkable acidity. Very good wine that makes me think of a top Gamay in style. Very pleasurable although it is unlikely to have a very long life. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2016-2020
    17
  • Daniel Ramos, Zerberos Del Tiemblo Los Chorrancos Garnacha 2011 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Mainly Garnacha planted in 1936. North-facing slope of 20% gradient, planted in schist soils at 900 m elevation. Limited yields to 3,000 kg/ha. Hand-harvested, 10% whole bunch fermentation, and extremely long skin maceration of 100 days. One year ageing in 600-litre used oak barrels.
    It has high intensity showing very ripe red fruit accompanied by a minty and herby character. It is soft and rounded on the mid palate revealing firm and tight tannins at the back, it combines juiciness and dryness. It still needs time to mellow further. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2018
    16
  • Daniel Ramos, Zerberos Pizarra Garnacha 2010 Vino de la Tierra Castilla y León

    Mainly Garnacha. Produced gathering three different small plots from Cerberos village. The vines are 60 to 100 years old and range from 850 to 950 m elevation, planted in schist soils. Very tiny yields of 6 hl/ha. Hand-harvested, completely destalked and macerated for 40 days. Aged in 500-l barrels for one year.
    The wine has already developed a bouquet, but still it keeps a minty herbal lift. It has an earthy character, sweet spices and touch of leather. It has a warm alcohol sensation with moderate and slightly drying tannins, medium body, adequate balance lingering to a toasty and caramelised finish. Already mature but in a delicate way. (FC)

    14.5%
    Drink 2014-2018
    16