There are a great many grapes with a special day dedicated to them. As today is the international Grenache Day our pick of the week will be one of that sort, from the Alpujarras in Granada. This is one of the Spanish regions that have offered an alternative to the traditional northern interpretation of the grape, supposedly originated right there in Navarra (Rioja Baja) area. Others are Aragón, most notably Calatayud, that could maybe be seen as an extension to Navarra, but they offer a quite distinctive style. In more recent times the garnacha tratitions of Montsant/Priorat (mostly in blends), and the western outskirts of Madrid (like the Sierra de Gredos) have come to prominence.
Back to the ‘granadino’ highland: Much has been said about the great work of the Valenzuela family, in this blog too. Their pioneering work and innovative spirit has inspired many, both fellow vinegrowers and tasters. Innovative yes, but it’s really a wish to go back to the roots of their own tradition that best characterizes their approach. So all the vineyards are grown naturally, no herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used, just like in the old days.
They dispose of some of the highest vineyards in Europe, in fact their Cerro Las Monjas 1368 has for long been the bottled wine sourced from the highest vineyards, 1368 meters to be precise. In this vineyard there is garnacha too, planted between 1983 and 1989.
For this wine no SO2 or any other additives or preservatives have been used, no stabilization processes, no clarifying, only a slight filtering before bottling.
Garnata 2009 (Barranco Oscuro)
Bright red. Clear-cut, pure aromas of red berries, aromatic herbs, and some graphite. Quite full and round on the palate, fresh and appealing appearance, and a long aftertaste with fruit around the acidity.