There's a quiet revolution in the world of wine: while many of the classic "great" wines only get more expensive and harder to find, huge swaths of the wine world are being rediscovered for wines that range from the tasty to the sublime. There is just unbelievable innovation and energy out there, with young winemakers looking both to innovate into the future and to draw on the richness of the their traditions.
Take Castilla-La Mancha: this region in the middle of Spain has long been known for only the roughest of bulk wines. But today it's a playground of forward-thinking growers whose innovation and the respect for heritage are coming together beautifully.
Envínate is a group of four friends who met in wine school in 2005, then joined together to seek out old vineyards in off-the-radar parts of Spain to make delicious natural wines. That's a great mix of tradition and innovation, but there's more: the grapes, Garnacha Tintorera (70%) and Moravia Agria (30%) are super-old school.
Garnacha Tintorera ("red-fleshed Garnacha") is better-known as Alicante Bouchet, and is one of the rare grapes to give its wines pigment from the flesh as well as the skin of the grape. These particular vines are 30 years old and in Almansa, making deeply-fruited, soft wine. The Moravia Agria, a rare, small-berried grape that thrives in the dry heat of Manchuela, adds acid and tannin, as well as lovely airy floral notes. Nearly 40 years of age for these. Heritage grapes in a gorgeous, new incarnation.
Like the other Envínate projects in the Canaries and Ribeira Sacra, this wine is made from grapes picked by hand and trod by foot, then fermented only by wild yeasts, in concrete for this bottling. It is clean, pure-fruited but has the core bass notes of the Spanish high plains. We're thrilled to be able to share this wine with you.
Envínate, “Albahra”, 2015 $17.99 $16.99 on 3
High-toned bright aromatics, and an airy quality on the palate complementing the crackling energy and clear depths. Subtle grip on the finish with just a hint smokiness adding complexity to the floral/woodland berry plot. A ton of wine for the money.