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Escoces Volante Papa Luna 2006

Rhone Red Blends from Spain
  • RP90
14% ABV
  • WE91
  • RP90
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3.0 2 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Papa Luna begins as bush vine grapes in the slate studded Jiloca valley at 2,600 feet above sea level. The wild mountain herbs amongst the vineyards give rise to the distinctive varietal aromas and garrigue character in the wine. The Syrah was destemmed but not crushed to give a high proportion of whole berry fruit. This in turn was cold soaked until a wild fermentation ensued after which the must was inoculated with a wild Rhone yeast strain. Fermentation proceed at 28 celsius and the wine was pressed off using only free run juice. Malo took place in tank and 50% in new and used French and American oak. The meticulously sourced 70-100 year old bush vine Garnacha was destemmed, crushed and inoculated with several Rhone yeasts. Temperature controlled fermentation commenced and lasted 7 days with pumpovers and delistage for color and tannin extraction followed by a short maceration. The free run wine underwent malo in tank. 35% of the Garnacha was added to the skins of the Syrah after fermentation and a "doble pasta" was carried out to add more color and concentration. Similary one tank of Garnacha was macerated post fermentation for extract and complexity. Some of the extremely old parcels of Garnacha are interplanted with Mazuelo and Monastrell and as such these grapes were co-fermented.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Papa Luna is a blend of 70% old-vine Garnacha, 25% Syrah, and 5% Monastrell and Mazuelo aged for 5 months in French and American oak. Dark ruby/purple-colored, it offers up an attractive nose of cedar, spice, vanilla, earth, cherry, and blueberry. This leads to a smooth-textured, sweetly-fruited wine with light tannin and complex flavors. It will evolve for 2-3 years but can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years
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Escoces Volante

Escoces Volante

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Escoces Volante, Spain
2006 Papa Luna
Norrel Robertson, MW the winemaker spent the past five years in Calatayud searching out individual blocks of fruit in order to produce a wine of massive intensity. Calatayud offers one of the most unique areas in Spain for old vine Grenache and is set to follow Priorat as a cutting edge region for Grenache based wines and world class winemaking. The Grenache was carefully sourced from only the highest elevation slate vineyards around the villages of Acered and Alarba. Yields from the 70-100 year old bush vines did not exceed 20 hl/acre. The Syrah was hand harvested from 25 year old vines on two selected parcels. Norrel feels that the fruit from these sites is excellent and delivers wonderful minerality and herbal undertones within these fruit forward offerings.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

WWH117512_2006 Item# 102798

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