2009 Bernabeleva Garnacha De Viña Bonita Vinos de Madrid

SKU #1077415 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (100% garnacha, grown on sandy soil): Bright ruby-red. Sexy aromas of strawberry, raspberry, fresh rose and Asian spices, with slow-building minerality and a hint of white pepper; smells like a serious Vosne-Romanee. Then silky, sweet and expansive in the mouth, with deep but energetic red fruit and floral pastille flavors that stain the palate. Very pure wine with excellent finishing thrust, cut and length. This alluringly perfumed garnacha is balanced to age but I find it delicious right now.  (11/2011)

K&L Notes

In the Sierra de Gredos mountains, just to the south of Madrid, some pretty amazing Garnacha is being made around the village of San Martin de Valdeiglesias. Catalan winemaker Marc Isart Pinos is taking old vines, (in this case from a vineyard of decomposed granite with only 18 inches of topsoil), applying excellent viticultural work, fermenting in foudre with some whole clusters used, as well as long maceration on the skins for further complexity, and bottling with a minimum of sulphur to create a beautiful, expressive wine. This bottling is different from our other Bernabeleva wine in that it's a bit more intense, sacrificing just a hair of brightness for depth of flavor. If your frame of reference for garnacha is the inexpensive co-op stuff, the dressed up pricier co-op stuff, or Priorat, then you need to try this to enhance your perspective, as well as change your mind about what this grape is capable of in Spain. I'll take this over 99.99% of Chateauneuf du Pape - maybe even Rayas. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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Price: $49.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2012 | Send Email
What's going on here?! What a pleasurable and tantalizing wine coming out of where? Just south of Madrid?! Well... Beautiful delicate burgundy color. It entices the nose and the palate with beautiful floral aromatics, cola and perhaps a touch of quinine as well. Very intriguing. Very good!

Staff Image By: Steve Greer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2012 | Send Email
The wines from Bernabeleva are two of the best Spanish wines outside of Rioja I have tasted in a long time. When we were trying these the buyer told a story of a customer who had these wines say it taste like Chateauneuf du Pape in the 70's.The winemaker uses 300-3000 liter barrels, uses stems which helps reduce color, alcohol and acidity. The nose is very floral with rose petals along with plum aromas. The palate is all dark heady plum and cola. The finish is the best part of this wine because it doesn't stop! The wines of Bernabelva must be experienced!

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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.