The third wine from the Lavinia Tasting Class with Anna Harris Noble and the first red wine of the evening. This is a Garnacha/Graciano mix from the Navarra region.
The Garnacha grape has a long history in Spain and is widely planted. However it fell out of fashion for a period when Tempranillo took over as the Spanish royalty of red wine grapes. Many old established vines of other grape varieties were torn up to feed the Tempranillo frenzy.
The bodega Viña Zorzal bought some land with these old Garnacha vines and saved them from the chop. This wine is named after the parcel of land where the 43 year old vines are grown, which is on a high plateau in rocky soil and exposed to the northerly winds. They apparently also have some 115 year old Garnacha vines which they’re experimenting with.
One of the reasons that Garnacha fell out of favour is that it has a reputation for producing watery wines. I’ve tasted some of these and they genuinely come across as if someone has added water, which tastes well weird. It is often mixed with other grape varieties, though not in this case, and apparently works best in conditions where it has to work hard to grow, like exposed high plateaus.
The vineyard of Corral de Los Altos is naturally managed using sheep to keep down the undergrowth and the bodega has been encouraging growth of natural flora in their management of the soil.
The wine itself is fermented with wild yeasts and matured for 9 months in 500 litre used french barrels. It has a clear, pale, ruby red colour. Garnacha is a thin skinned grape so tends to produce light coloured wines.
On the nose it has a light intensity scent of fresh herbs and red berries. Think the natural rosemary and thyme that grow in the Spanish mountains. A dry wine with low tannins and medium acidity and body.
It did taste a little watery, but was fruity with a hint of thyme. All in all a good wine. Easily drinkable if not particularly memorable. I actually enjoyed it but my preference is for light fruity reds.
|Name:||Corral de los Altos|
|Quality Classification:||Denominacion de Origen|