2009 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(all grenache, from vines that are reportedly over 65 years of age): Bright red. An assertively perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red berries, potpourri and gingerbread, with subtle smoke and mineral notes adding complexity. Nervy and focused on the palate, with very good depth and energy to its sweet raspberry and cherry flavors. Red fruit and spice notes echo on the smooth, sappy, very persistent finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Arroyo del Tortolas is from a north-facing vineyard at 800-meters altitude. It has a soft, leathery nose with a smudge of alcohol that cannot be disguised. The palate is full-bodied and hedonistic with kirsch and sloes dominating the profile, but fortunately with decent acidity towards the finish to maintain balance. This is a ravishing, voluptuous wine. Drink now-2016.
Where to start? This is inspiring Garnacha. Garnacha for Grenache haters. Garnacha for lovers of Burgundy or traditional Barolo, perhaps. Hailing from a high elevation (1100 meters at its height) vineyard of decomposed granite (otherwise known as sand) located an hour and a half or so west of Madrid (in fact, many Madrileños vacation here to avoid the sweltering summer heat), this wine is so bright, so high toned and pretty, intensely flavored yet precise (no baby fat here) that you may want to guzzle it down now with a nice meal, even though the structure is likely there to improve in bottle for at least 7-8 years. Young winemaker Marc Isart likes to call this "his Chambolle" given the wine's beautiful aromatics and delicacy. A random listing of other interesting facts about the wine: minimal top soil in the north facing vineyards, use of demi-muids and foudres, some whole cluster fermentation, minimal use of sulphur. I'll take this over 99.99% of Chateauneuf du Pape - maybe even Rayas." (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)