2017 Envínate, Migan Tinto, Listan Negro, Vinos Atlanticos, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The Envínate wines come from mostly Atlantic influenced sites from the Canary Islands to Galicia plus a couple of remote sites within Spain including Almansa, all crafted by winemakers Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez, who all met while at college and vowed they would someday work together and pay tribute to their home regions. The wines are some of the most exciting in Spain, especially their Tenerife grown offerings like this stunning Migan cuvee that is sourced from two very old parcels, with between 90 and 120 years of age, of “cordon trenzado” or braided vines on high elevation sites on volcanic soils. The vines follow the slope of the ancient volcano, braided to keep them close to the ground to keep them from being battered by wind and helping them retain and collect moisture in this unique terroir on these islands of the western coast of Africa. I have been following Roberto Santana’s wines for a long time and his efforts have almost impressed me, I love these wines, especially his Listan Negro based bottlings, a grape that is part of set of what we call the Mission grape(s) and mostly found here in the Canary Islands where it was planted by those making the journey to the new world sometime between the 1500s and 1700s at a time when Spain was colonizing the west coast of the Americas with Catholic missionaries needing European vines to make sacrament wines. The Listan Negro grape is wonderfully dry and spicy with the ability to really transmit terroir with transparent purity, as this Envinate Migan does showing the volcanic mineral essence throughout, its a varietal that has a lighter sense of being and can be as elegant as Pinot Noir, again this Migan has this exceptional quality and complexity.
The 2017 Migan is beautifully smooth, but racy with vivid acidity and with delicate earthiness along with its exotic array of spices that thrill the palate which is just medium bodied and restrained in natural alcohol, it is layered with tangy red fruits including dusty plum, strawberry, tart cherry and blood orange that are contrasted by red pepper flakes, leather, anise and faint cedar notes. Everything here is silken and textural gaining sweet floral tones, hints of iron, delicate earthiness and lingering dried rose petals, grilled herbs and red currants making for a stylish and natural feeling wine. According to Envinate and Santana, the Migan, made from 100% Listan Negro, as noted is sourced from two plots, 60% comes from the La Habanera plot on dark volcanic sand at the highest elevation n the area, and the other 40% coming from their older San Antonio plot, that is much lower on the slope with more clay based soils. All the grapes, which are all organic, were hand-harvested, using traditional fermentation and using very low SO2, each lot was foot-troddened and fermented separately with the La Habanera getting 100% whole cluster, while the San Antonio saw just 15% whole cluster. Envinate employs in large concrete vats for primary fermentation and maceration, then when finished the Migan was racked and gently pressed off into 228 & 600L old French barrels for malolactic and aging, that lasted for 11 months, and then bottled is without fining or filtration. This is a wine that has the class and depth of a Nuits-St.-Georges (Burgundy) with a ruby/garnet hue and elements that resembles Fleurie (Cru Beaujolais) and or Etna Rosso (Nerello Mascalese), the Migan cuvee with 12% alcohol makes for a lovely food wine and as is crisply refreshing, best with a bit of chill, this is a fabulous vintage, one of my favorites to date!
($49 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive