2010 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid

SKU #1121244 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (all garanacha, raised in small and large oak, 25% of it new): Vivid ruby-red. A powerful bouquet offers red and dark berry preserves, minerals, Asian spices and fresh flowers. Fleshy black raspberry and candied rose flavors are deep and palate-staining, but there's no sign of excess weight. Turns spicier on the sweet, gently tannic finish, which clings with superb tenacity.  (9/2012)

K&L Notes

Where to start? This is inspiring Garnacha. Garnacha for Grenache haters. Garnacha for lovers of Burgundy or traditional Barolo, perhaps. It hails from a high elevation (1,100 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, so 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, 100% whole cluster fermentation, minimal use of sulphur. I'll take this over 99.99% of Châteauneuf-du-Pape--maybe even Rayas. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

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Price: $27.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.5