Grapelive: Wine of The Day December 25, 2017 – Merry Christmas

2016 Daterra Viticultores (Laura Lorenzo) “Camino de la Frontera” Vino Tinto, Arribes, Spain.
Grown along the Duero River across from Portugal Laura Lorenzo’s Daterra Camino de la Frontera is an old vine red blend that includes the rare local variety Juan Garcia (also known as Mouratón), co-planted and co-fermented with 70% Juan Garcia, 15% Tempranillo, 5% Bobal, 3% Rufete, 2% Mencia and 5% Bastardo from 100 to 130 year old vines close to Fermoselle. An area of Spain that is ancient and undiscovered, it’s remoteness seems to be it’s allure to Lorenzo, who is a vineyard whisperer and well regarded for bringing back wild, or lost historic vines and creating exciting wines. This a new wine for Lorenzo, and it’s a beauty with a wonderful mix of tangy fresh fruits and natural earthy elements with a lighter frame, though with firm tannins it is some what like a Nebbiolo in that way, while not tasting like anything I’ve ever tried making it gloriously new and riveting with every sip and aftertaste. The Camino de la Frontera follows Laura’s style allowing these ancient vines to speak in their own voices, with native yeast ferments in tank and with no manipulation and very low sulfur with the maceration(s) being extremely gentile, the wines are raised in well used French oak cask, usually 300L and 500L barrels. At 12.5% natural alcohol and with it’s medium body this delicately hued red is full of flavor, it starts with floral tones, moist earth, wild herbs and sour cherry, briar notes and racy red raspberry leading to a tart and velvety palate with plum, blueberry and cranberry fruits, along with grilled fennel/melted salty black licorice and zesty citrus rind, finishing with stony/gravelly elements, saddle leather, currant, heral tea spices and faint flower blossom. This wine gets more generous with food and time in the glass, bringing a riper profile forward and becomes more textural in mouth feel, Lorenzo is a huge talent and these wines already have an under ground following, imported by Jose Pastor Selections, even I have a terrible time finding them and I’ve been a fan since her wines even before she started her own label, in fact I had to buy bottles from Texas and New York, as they are almost nearly impossible to get in my home state of California! Laura specializes in Mencia and Godella based field blends from mostly old bush vines above the Sil River, on steep slopes of slate soil in the Ribeira Sacra, in the Galicia region of Spain, but she also does maybe the best Palomino I’ve tasted. You’ll need to be adventurous and search hard, but these wines by Laura Lorenzo’s Daterra Viticultores are fabulous and well worth the effort.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive