2014EnvinateAlbahra2014 Envinate, Albahra, Vinos Mediterraneos, Almansa, Spain.
Grown at high elevation above the town of Albacete this red from arid southern Spain is made by the Envinate (make wine by yourself) team, a group of four college friends that are from many different regions of Spain, but wanted to make wine together, so they created Envinate to explore crafting small lots of wine from their home regions. The group includes one of my favorite winemakers from the Canary Islands, Roberto Santana of Suertes del Marques along with his talented friends Alfonso Torrente of Ribeira Sacra, Laura Ramos of Murcia and from the home of this Albahra, Jose Martinez of Almansa. The 2014 Envinate Albahra is a pure Alicante Bouchet, also known as Garnacha Tintorera, this dark grape is one of the few varietals that has red pulp and juice, it was fermented and aged in cement vats, no wood was used or needed, with about 50% whole cluster and native yeasts, it is a lovely and earthy fresh red with loads of character and detail. The grapes are from a single vineyard of 30 year old vines on chalky soils mixed with clay and ancient seabed, the 800 meters elevation helps with natural cooling and allows for a balanced wine with the swing in daytime and nighttime temps keeping a sense of vibrancy and gentile winemaking and short maceration helps soften tannins and make for a wine that is fresh and easy to quaff. The 2014 Albahra shows blackberry, cherry and dusty plum fruits, with peppery spices, crushed flowers, anise, hints of mineral, wild mushroom and sticky lavender in a medium weight wine that has texture and flair, but is also not complicated or fussy in style, it is Cotes du Rhone like, though maybe a bit more exotic, great with a slight chill on it and perfect with paella and or BBQ’s. This wine is the super value in the Envinate lineup, but if you want some rare stuff, be sure to check out their Canary Islands and the Mencia wines of the Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, these are great winemakers and amazing wines!
($18 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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