2016 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Garnacha Rioja

SKU #1450385 97 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Expressive aromas of ripe red cherries with balsamic nuances.This is a superb Garnacha, it has such a generous fruit and lovely texture of sweet integrated tannins. (2019 Platinum, Decanter World Wine Awards) Inner quote mark (4/2019)

91 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is ripe and fruity, yet there is linear form to it that gives it length and energy. Lots of smoke and fruit at the end. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

K&L Notes

Based in the Southern Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a bodega producing expressive, regionally specific wines at very reasonable prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and snow-covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. This is a very special wine. It is a single parcel of bush vine Garnacha first planted in 1905 with no vines younger than 90 years old. The plot, Valdeponzos, is planted at 700m in the foothills in very iron-rich clay soils. Fermented in stainless tanks and aged in old French oak barrels for a little over a year. This is intense aromatic mountain Garnacha. Bright and lifted with delicate berries, herbs and spices. The palate is even more intense, but nicely textured, with complexity freshness and great length. Rioja is not the first place you think of for Garnacha, but this wine will start changing that conversation.

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Price: $35.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2020 | Send Email
Rioja in name but decidedly an outlier in style. This is rich and overt with fruit and much more subtle on the oak tones than a more classic style. What really shines through is the age of the vines through the concentration of the wine. This is rich and full while maintaining supple structure. Front loaded copious amounts of red fruit and finishing long with loads of spice complexity. A perfect foil for some Spanish chorizo or some grilled lamb.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2020 | Send Email
There’s a real purity of fruit on the nose of this wine. Elements of cranberries and tart strawberry. On the palate it reads bright and juicy. What is really interesting about this wine in particular is the combination of 100% Grenache, along with the edge of American oak. That is what I find to be really compelling about this wine. That vanilla, clove, baking spicy goodness, with ripe, fresh, juicy Grenache. Big rich fruit with accents of baking spices? Almost like boysenberry pie. Mouth-watering delicious.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2020 | Send Email
One of the greatest treasures that Spain has to offer French wine lovers is the gift that it already gave to France, Grenache. Garnacha is from Spain, but I am very grateful to the French for bringing it to everyone's attention, but now it is time for it’s homeland to reclaim it. That is what this wine does. From a vineyard planted in 1905, this is old vine Garnacha. Grown in the iron rich clay soils in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda. This showcases Garnacha. It has an opulent nose, intense fruit, rich texture and surprising(or not) complexity. Two things jump out immediately, the intensity of the color and the nose. It is deeply colored, almost purplish, and broad and heady nose simultaneously jumps out of the glass and collapses under its density. It is loaded with fresh berries and a fine spices. The palate is rich and intense but poised. This has that old vine intense that is balanced and focused by the coolness of the growing site. The winemaking is minimal and meant to show off the fruit, only French oak that has already been used, and not aged for the long periods that Rioja is famous for. The fruit is amazing, it goes for days yet it is not fatiguing. There is a subtle earthy mineral element that is intertwined with the easy tannins and an exotic spice that is laced throughout. This is hedonistic Garnacha that will disappear from your glass faster than you will realize but if you get distracted and slow down you can discover that is so much to this wine.

By: John Sumners | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2020 | Send Email
Dramatic and rich on the nose with a core of raspberry/boysenberry reduction and cherry galette framed by notes of licorice, bay leaf, thyme, leather, vanilla, rose petal, baking chocolate, and pink peppercorn. While the richness of flavor carries through on the palate, a perfect core of fresh acidity and dusty tannin keeps the wine from being weighty or over-the-top. This is a great example of the richness that Spain achieves with Garnacha but with an unusual level of class and impeccable balance. Downright yummy. Loads of fun and begging for roasted leg of lamb or barbecued meats.

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2020 | Send Email
Deep, dark, brooding, confident, these are all words that come to mind upon first approach to this lovely little number. I adore Grenacha for so many reasons not the least of which is it's unbelievable complexity for the price tags. Upon first whiff the wine is loaded with purple and black fruits, baking spice, sweet tobacco, and new leather. The palate is wonderfully medium bodied with some bright black fruited acid that gives was to black olives, pepper, a dusty overtone, with a bit of mushroom. Rioja is one of the great wine regions of the world for a reason, and here is all the evidence you'll ever need of that!

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2020 | Send Email
I love serious Garnacha, and this bottle is doing nothing to dissuade me from that notion. Campfire smoke and blackberry compote and tropical flower and exotic spice and a touch of meaty pepper all explode across the palette with focused concentration. Decanting is optional, but highly recommended. The fully braced structure is softened by subtle acidity but this still would be unreal with a piece of game or board of smoked cheese.

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