Wine of the month: Garnacha Sotillo 2014

This week,  I had the chance to discover a magnificent producer. Vinos Ambiz is the proyect of Fabio Bartolomei in the Gredos region near Madrid. This region is on the way to way to becoming the next Priorato of Spain. Gredos not only have schist soils but they have also old vines. In Quebec, they are represented by the good people of Glou. This is a very special wine. At the same time, it is a wine of pleasure but also of Intellectual reflection.

Fabio makes a wide range of wines: young and aged such as white, red and orange. He ages in amphora, steel, and wood. The wines are made in the natural style with no chemical additions or foreign agents. The plots are vinified separately, and coupage is done on a occasional basis. He either grown his own grapes (3 ha) or buy in from local growers. Indigenous local varieties are grown such as: Airén, Doré, Albillo, Chelva, Malvar, Sauvignon Blanc, Garnacha, Tempranillo.

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Very fresh nose. On the natural style. Lots of Raspberries with fresh cherries. Lots of floral nuances as well. On the mouth, fresh. A tad frizzante in the palate. Fruity and earthy with a point of sweetness too. Smooth on the palate with raspy tannins. Various complex nuances that bring to mind green olives, leather, sweet and sour plum sauce with mineral tones as well. Great wine to have with an omelette with spicy chorizo. 95/100

Enjoy this video with Fabio that talks about some of its wines.

Is Sierra the Gredos, the new eldorado of Spain?

Every once in a while, I come across undiscovered gems when I buy wine in the private importation network of Quebec. This ocurred to me a while ago. I was browsing through the list of current release of one my favorite agencies, Vini-Vins, when the name of Comando G stroke my eye.  Since, I never heard them, i started doing a bit of research.

Comando G

Daniel G. Jiménez to the left and Fernando García. Photo: blogs.20minutos.es

Comando G is a joint venture between two young and upcoming spanish winemakers, Fernando García (Bodegas Marañones) and Daniel Gómez Jiménez Landi. The pair discovered a very singular vineyard which was the highest in the D.O Vinos de Madrid. It has an altitude between 900 and 1,100 meters in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. This tiny vineyard consist only of 3 ha of very old vineyards in poor granite soils. From there, they started scouting other vineyards in the Gredos mountain range and they now they have close to 10 ha of very old garnacha between the ages of 50 and 80 years old. They farm biodinamically and this energetic duo have a passion to rescue abandoned vineyards and restore the agriculture tradition of the area. I can draw the comparison with the work that Alvaro Palacios in the Priorat was doing in the beginning of the 90’s.

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Garnacha vines in the Sierra de Gredos Photo: blogs.20minutos.es

In the US, the proyect has already been discovered by prestigious wine importer Eric Solomon. In a recent article ( In Search of a wine with a star quality) by Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal, Solomon praises Comando G as being one of ” the most exciting new projects in Spain today.”. Miss teague also comments by saying that the wines of Comando G are like a meeting Burgundy and Rhone Valley in high altitude Spain.I can relate with Miss teague wine description, as i found in their entry level wine, Las Brujas Averias many elements that were present in a southern Rhone wine. But i was, the purity of the red fruit that strikes the most. I can see why Miss teague is reminded by Burgundy. Las brujas, makes me already think of a entry level Volnay. But anyways, I can getting ahead of myself.

The label design of Las Bruja Averia, a witch in different poses and different background colours-each bottle is different draws its inspiration from Japanese and Spanish animation cartoons. The idea of this two young winemaekrs is to take out some of the snootiness in the world of wine. La bruja see 7 months in barrel aging. Their entry level wine is easy to drink but quite complex too.  They also make different single vineyards bottling such as  Rozas and  Umbrías). They also make two special bottlings called  Rumbo al Norte and  El Tamboril 2012.Vini-Vins, their representant in Quebec carry all of the cuvees except for las Rozas.

La Bruja Averia 2013. D.O Vinos de Madrid.

Crazy nose bringing to mind a nirvana of red fruits, touches of cream with lots of floral components such as roses, lilacs and wild thym. In addition, intriguing nuances of dry spices. Moreover, with some time in the bottle, notes of wild oregano and pencil shavings develop. On the mouth, round with lots of substance and texture. Very fresh in the palate with lots of earthy character. Wonderful dusty and sandy tannins with a streamlined mineral finale. 93\100