2017 Envínate, Vidueño de Santiago del Teide, Ycoden-Daute-Isora DO, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Founded by wine college students in 2005, Envínate (which means “Wine Yourself”) is the brainchild of four friends and winemakers from very diverse regions in Spain including Roberto Santana of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Alfonso Torrente of the Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, Laura Ramos of Murcia and José Martínez who is from Almansa. Santana has been thrust into the spotlight and is the unofficial leader with the main bodega in the Canary Islands, the winery’s main area of focus, where they craft intriguing wines from the volcanic soils on these remote islands off the coast of northern Africa, and where in recent years they has brought world attention to local grapes such as Listan Blanco, Listan Negro and Listan Prieto, also known as the Mission grapes.
The Vidueño de Santiago del Teide, grown in the Ycoden-Daute-Isora DO, and according to the winery is sourced from a tiny parcel of old-vine, untrained pie franc Listan Blanco and Listan Prieto. Thought to be about 50/50 red and white grapes it is a lighter and fresher style than the rest of the lineup. This co-planted parcel is all hand-harvested, destemmed and then this natural wine is macerated for 15 days in an open vat, then transferred to three well used neutral small French barriques, where it aged for 8 months on fine lees without battonage (stirring) or with any added sulfur, it is also unfined and unfiltered, again there’s no added SO2 even at bottling.
This latest version of Vidueño is seductive for it’s smoky strawberry notes, high tones and mineral focus, it is a very high elevation volcano wine that shows a finessed presence in the glass with delicacy, vivid flavors and smooth tannins, it’s Envinate’s Glou Glou offering, meaning it’s extremely easy and quaffable. Bright red pepper, warm rock, dried rose petals lead the way before this light ruby wine takes off on the medium bodied palate with strawberry, pomegranate and cranberry fruits forming a spicy core with vivid volcanic intensity pumping through, though a touch earthy the Vidueño gains a nice textural feel, this is never going to be a main stream crowd pleaser, but it’s ultra cool and I love it. Considering it is half white grapes, it has some grip and dusty dry tang, this is vivacious juice from Envínate with a touch of leathery earth, bright acidity and a saline note that straddles a savory nervousness, but stays wonderfully playful, it’s especially good with food and gets even better with air and with a slight chill.
($37 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive