Winery: Altés Herència was established in 2013 as a collaboration between renowned importer Eric Solomon and Nuria Altes, owner of the Herencia Altés estate. Located in the Terra Alta region of northern Spain, the estate consists of some of the oldest vineyards in the area. Beginning with 4 wines in 2013, today the estate has expanded to a collection of 9 wines, along with the purchase of additional vineyards, for a total of 60 hectares of old vines.
Philosophy: The family protects and cares for the old vine vineyards, devoted to crafting wines of depth and character that express the “distinct terroir, a particular place with its unique soil, aspect and climatic condition”.
Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed sustainably and organically, and are in the process of conversion to certified organic. Grapes came from vineyards at 400-530 m above sea level with clay and high calcareous soil. A blend of young and old vines [40–100 years old] are mixed “to create an affordable, lively, and elegant version of Garnatxa showcasing the delicate Pinot-side of the variety”. Grapes were lightly pressed “pressing to achieve the best juice and sweet tannins”. Fermented in concrete, and aged 5 months in concrete tanks.
Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries, sweet herbs and a hint of baking spice. Bursting with fruit; cranberry, blackberry and Morello cherry are accented by a shake of black pepper and brambly vegetal notes. Velvety tannins, fruit and spice carry thru to the plush finish. A fantastic value.
100% Garnatxa Negra [Garnacha, Grenache]
Bottled for Herència Altés by R.E. -3890-T
Brand: Le Paradou is a project created in 2005 by winemaking brothers Alexandre and Frédéric Chaudière. The Chaudière family has been making wine in the Southern Rhône AOC of Côtes du Ventoux for many generations at Château Pesquié. The word ‘Paradou’ refers to the ancient windmills that once dotted the landscape of the Languedoc.
Philosophy: One of the goals the brothers have with the Le Paradou range is to infuse the wines with the values of living in the south of France; “These pleasures are pure and simple, they are those of sharing and of enjoying the small pleasures in life”.
Winemaking: The Chaudières practice sustainable, integrated farming methods with an emphasis on respect for the environment, and they do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Grapes were sourced from two of the family’s vineyards on slopes [200/250 meters (650 to 800 ft)] in altitude with clay and limestone soils, with an average vine age of 60 years. Aged for 7 months in concrete tanks to preserve the “naked expression” of the grape.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with cheerful aromas of cherry, black cherry, white pepper and a shake of cinnamon. Silky cherry, pomegranate and red currant frame a spicy core, baking spices linger between each silky sip. Easy drinking, a fantastic companion with a wide variety of dishes and an excellent value.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: Easy to pair with many simple dishes: charcuterie, red snapper with Serrano ham, grilled white or red meats, pizzas… It can also be paired with more structured dishes (daube d’Avignon, venison). Serve at around 17°C [62°F]
Vin de France
Bottled by Famille Chaudiere
Rated 90 points by Wine Advocate
Winery: The Filón winery is in Villarroya de la Sierra, one of the highest areas of the Calatayud DO, in Aragón, northeastern Spain. Filón is one of the family wineries in the Avivo Vino portfolio. Aviva Vino is a “passionate and dynamic marketing, sales and distribution organization”. Their portfolio of wines features family owned Spanish wineries, with a focus on “typicity, terroir and character”.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from old vine vineyards, 30-40 years in age. The vines are on steep hillsides [3,000 ft above sea level]. The soil is predominately quartzite and slate. Fermented in stainless steel, aged 3 months in used French oak barriques.
Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour with aromas of mixed berry jam, spice and a trace of slate minerality. Blackberry, black cherry and a hint of black currant frame a core of earth and spice. A bit of bitter chocolate and vanilla highlight the dry, spiced finish. Straightforward and a versatile companion at the table, this is a great value.
Bottled for Aviva Vino by R.E. 50/40864
Winery: Located in the Cariñena region of northern Spain, the San Valero Cooperative was founded in 1944 [making it the oldest winery in Cariñena] by 60 growers who at the time were producing bulk wines. Today the cooperative consists of more than 700 members that cultivate 3500 hectares of vineyards located between the rivers Huerva and Jalón. They focus on producing high quality wines using modern technology.
Winemaking: Grapes are from vines more than 25 years old. Aged for at least 6 months in French oak.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, plum, black pepper and a wisp of sweet smoky earth. Dense, dark fruits are dusted with crushed black peppercorn. Velvety tannins and a trace of menthol supplement the rich, plush texture. Baking chocolate and a drop of espresso compliment the fruity finish. Engaging and expressive, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.
Estate Bottled by Bodegas San Valero S. Coop
$10 [average price]
Rated 85 points and a “Best Buy” by Wine Enthusiast
Sample submitted for review purpose.
Estate: Grandes Vinos y Viñedos is located in the heart of Cariñena, the vineyards are spread across 14 towns in the region at the bottom of the Algairén and Pecos mountain ranges. The estate is “committed to combining environmental protection with the best quality possible of wine production”. Environmental preservation methods as rainfall irrigation and solar energy have led them to become a leader in the region for environmental research and innovation.
Philosophy: The “wines are produced based on three fundamental aspects that form the essence of each one of them: the land, the climate and the variety”.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from old vine, high elevation vineyards, aged for 4 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries, black cherry, cinnamon, anise and a hint of vanilla. Abounding with all the cherries, plus red currant and cozy baking spices. Wooly tannins and a streak of granite minerality highlight crushed black peppercorn on the dry, fruity finish. Super food friendly, and great on its own.
Produced & Bottled by Grandes Vinos y Viñedos
$11 [average price]
Sample submitted for review purpose.