Manga del Brujo 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 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. The Tempranillo received similar treatment as the Garnacha followed by full malolactic fermentation in tank and 50% in barrel.
The 2006 Manga del Brujo is composed of 65% old-vine Garnacha, 15% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo, and 5% Monastrell and Mazuelo aged for 5 months in French and American oak. Purple-colored, it exhibits an expressive bouquet of cedar, tobacco, earth, vanilla, black cherry, and blueberry. This is followed by a full-bodied, ripe, intensely flavored wine with excellent depth, balance, and length. Another 2-3 years in the cellar should yield additional complexity. Drink this tasty effort through 2020. 90+
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.