2017 Envinate, Táganan Parcela Margalagua, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The Envinate Táganan Parcela Margalagua is one of the most unique and rare bottlings in the Canary Islands and this 2017 is beautifully delicate, layered and full of intrigue with volcanic influences, mineral tones, subtly exotic fruits and racy spices made from 100 year old all organic vines on the island of Tenerife in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. This Táganan Parcela Margalagua is crafted using natural methods and consists of many local varietals, but is seemingly dominated by Listan Negro, one of the Mission grapes brought here in the 1500s, as well as having rarities like Vijariego, Malvasia Negra, Baboso, Negramoll and a few others that are largely unknown. According to the winery, led by winemaker Roberto Santana, along with Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez and Alfonso Torrente, the Táganan vineyard, with its name coming from the Guanche word the native Canary language meaning slope. It is also the name of the northwestern part of Tenerife where the vines grow wild and low on cliffs of pure volcanic rock just above the Atlantic Ocean that provides the life and freshness in the wines. The distinct Parcela Margalagua “mother of water” is a single parcel sitting up at about between 100-250 meters of elevation, adds to the intensity of flavors here with flavors that include brandied cherries, briar laced raspberry, tangy strawberry and cranberry fruits as well as touch of smoky shale, earthy leather, crushed rock, dried cayenne pepper and light floral notes. This wine has the wine geeky presence of a top Jura wine with its pale color and low natural alcohol. The Canary Islands were a stop on the way to the new world for the Spanish explorers and Missionaries, who first brought vines here, allowing them to replenish supplies and these islands have long been a treat for winter travelers that wish warmth and rustic old world charms.
The classic field blend Envinate Táganan Parcela Margalagua gives a glimpse into Tenerife’s agrarian past, according to Santana, the old original vineyards on Tenerife were historically inter-planted with many different grape varieties and planted on their own roots as Roberto adds, was typical of the phylloxera-free remote Canary Islands. This side of Tenerife experiences a fairly temperate climate, enabling grapes to ripen at moderate alcohol levels, as mentioned, while retaining bright acidity, which this wine highlights perfectly. The grapes, which are back-breakingly farmed as the those low clinging vines require deep knee bends, they need to be very low to the ground to keep from having the winds beat up the canopy and are hand-harvested, sometimes having mules haul the grapes down the hill. The Táganan Parcela Margalagua’s grapes are all co-fermented using 100% whole cluster with wild or naive yeasts, and as importer Jose Pastor explains, in older open-top 500L French oak barrels with a gentle maceration and pilage. The wine then was aged in well seasoned French barrels for just under one year imparting no oak accents, allowing the full terroir to show through and the Táganan Parcela Margalagua was bottled with ultra low sulfur and unfined and unfiltered. I have followed Roberto Santana’s career from his time at Suertes de Marquis, where he made his first splash in the wine world with his Canary Island wines, which were largely unheard of until he basically put them on the map to now with his Envinate he’s made them a real go to wine for enthusiasts! This Táganan Parcela Margalagua opens up nicely becoming supple, in a Pinot like expression, and adds hints of pomegranate, savory and salty notes, plus a touch of guava flesh making it a lovely medium bodied wine that goes great with lighter food choices, its tasty stuff indeed.
($52 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive