2010 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid
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.
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)