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Espelt Garnacha Old Vines 2016

Grenache from Spain
  • JD88
0% ABV
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  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

The Garnacha from Espelt comes from their highest elevation vineyard, Rabós, tucked in the Albera Nature Reserve Area. These are the oldest vines on the property with centenary Garnacha Negra and Carinyena grow on sandy slate and granite soils. While there are plenty of inexpensive, fruit-forward Garnachas coming from Spain, few have the depth of minerality and complexity found in this old-vine cuvée.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 88
Jeb Dunnuck
A custom cuvée made by importer Eric Solomon, the 2016 Garnacha Old Vines from Espelt is 100% Garnatxa Negra (the indigenous variety of Grenache), from old vines and higher elevation vineyards, that spent 4 months in new French oak. Plums, violets, incense, flowers, and white pepper notes give way to a plump, ripe, sexy red that has good acidity and freshness, as well as a wet stone-like minerality that emerges on the palate. Drink this perfumed, exotic, fruit forward effort anytime over the coming 2-4 years.
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Espelt

Espelt

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Espelt, Spain
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Espelt is located in the Emporda region of Spain, an amphitheatre overlooking the sea, encircled by mountains, which transforms with the seasons. In winter, the magical, silent surprise of the snow rarely reaches it. In spring, the greens are tender and gentle. In summer, the land is parched, the yellows are bright and dry. At the end of summer, everything becomes infused with sweet light, as if touched by peaches. In September, the vines of the Emporda region are an elegant, golden grey. Each harvest expresses the perfect cycle of the earth.

The wine cellar, modern and technological, rises up next to the ancestral traditional farmhouse. Both buildings contains the philosophy of our brand. The wine cellar materializes the idea of modernity that encourages us. The farmhouse welcomes the wine-growing tradition of this land, one that Lluis Espelt offered on culminating his agricultural activity with full dedication to wine growing. From the combination of tradition and modernity comes the initiative in which the next two generations, Damia and Anna, continue working.

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Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.

Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja also produces rich, nutty whites from the local Viura grape.

Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.

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.

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Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

ESLEC6734_2016 Item# 431000