Spanish Garnacha Tasting Part 1: Garnacha Blanca

jamonolives

Garnacha Blanca [a mutation of the red Garnacha grape] has long been utilized as a blending grape in both France and Spain. Recently pioneering winemakers have been crafting lush, expressive single varietal Garnacha Blanca wines with complex texture, subtle fruit, good mineral and earth notes and a long finish. Most significantly, in Aragon, northeastern Spain, where it originated, five D.O regions [Calatayud, Terra Alta, Somontano, Campo de Borja and Cariñena] are producing exemplary wines that are at least eighty-five percent Garnacha. I recently had the pleasure of attending an Aragon Garnacha tasting at Bar Jamon in NYC with 8 red Garnacha and 2 white Garnacha. With its unique character and relatively scarce availability in many areas, the first installment of my review is devoted solely to the Garnacha Blanca wines.

La Fou Els Amelers 2013

lafou

Estate: LaFou Cellars [Fou translates to narrow pass or ravine, which is a dominant characteristic of the land of Terra Alta] was founded in 2007 by Ramon Roqueta Segalés, the youngest member of a family with a winemaking history that dates back to the 12th century. His aim is “to extract the best from our vineyards and land” and “relentlessly seek to express the history and identity of the native soil through its fruits, its wines”.

Winemaking: Left on the lees for 7 months, 10% of the wine rested in toasted barrels for 4 months “in order to develop tannins, complexity and structure, without aromas”.

Tasting Notes: Pale yellow in colour with aromas of apple and white flowers. Red apple and nectarine flavours were enveloped with a lively acidity, whilst citrus zest and nutty hints lingered invitingly between each sip.

100% White Grenache
Terra Alta
13% Alcohol
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2016

Vinas del Vero La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2012

mirandawhite

Estate: Viñas del Vero was founded in 1986 in the Somontano region of Aragon, northern Spain. Today with their 700 hectares of vineyards, they are the leading winery in Somontano for volume and quality of wines. They practice sustainable and organic viticulture. Along with initiatives to restore indigenous plants, many of the vineyards are located on steep slopes, where the vines act as a natural stabilizer for the land. The estate belongs to the prestigious Association of the Great Estates of Spain.

Philosophy: “To develop a quality, sustainable and environmentally-friendly viticulture industry.”

Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed both organically and sustainably. Grapes for La Miranda Garnacha Blanc were sourced from vines nearly 100 years old.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with aromas of lemon and white flowers. Ethereal flavours of lemon and minerals metaphorphosed into zippy citrus notes in the clean finish. Light and refreshing this is fantastic on its own or can be paired with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Garnacha Blanca
Somontano
13.5% Alcohol
$15 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2015

 

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