2021 Comando G, Garnacha, “Granito del Cadalso” Sierra de Gredos, Vinos de Madrid, Spain.
As per normal here, with winemakers Daniel Gómez Jiménez Landi and Fernando Garcia, the Granito del Cadalso Sierra de Gredos Garnacha is a lovely and beautifully pure and soulful example of place and varietal, with aromatic red fruits leading the way here. The 2021 Granito del Cadalso, as always, was fermented and aged in concrete, as I mentioned before, with a 15-20 day maceration with regular remontage, and it shows all the lovely layers that have set this region apart, giving fresh detail that highlights this vintage as well as the terroir with a medium full palate of red and black fruits, spice and stony elements. The granite based soils used on this wine brings a clarity and delicacy, reminding me a bit of the Sardinian versions (Cannonau), which can come from granite soils and at elevation as well, they have more Burgundy like nuance and translucent character, rather than the riper more dense Rhône versions of Grenache or the wines from the Priorat or other Spanish regions. The palate is medium bodied, generously silken, richly flavored without being heavy and with a fine sense of minerallity, showing off strawberry, juicy plum, red currant, dusty raspberry and black cherry fruits, wild herbs, roses and geraniums, plus snappy peppery spices and a touch of candied orange peel. The natural acidity, briar notes and a light savory/stony background adds good contrast to the fruity profile, making this a great way to spend an evening, especially with a Fall meal and it is a great way to start exploring the Sierra de Gredos region, high above Madrid, which is really becoming a star appellation with Grenache enthusiasts. This non-oaked, authentic, almost old school Garnacha is a wonderful gateway wine to this region, and it’s easy on the wallet, compared to the top cru wines here, it’s stylish too, maybe even enough to surprise a few palates.
The Granito de Cadalso was originally made at the local co-op, Bodega Cooperativa Cristo del Humilladero, which was founded by the vineyard owners and growers back in 1956, it is a historic town cellars in the Sierra de Gredos region, in the high plateau above Madrid, this area is one of the world’s hotspots for delicate Garnacha. The owner of the Co-Op, as I mentioned in prior reviews, is wine enthusiast Ricardo Moreno, who is a a partner in the now famous Comando G winery, with winemaker Fernando Garcia, which is literally a couple does down the street as well as friends with the talented Daniel Gómez Jiménez Landi, aka Dani Landi, who was maybe the first of this new generation to gain world wide acclaim for the Gredos zone, and Moreno unlisted these two stars to make a few wines to help up the image of the Co-op, an approach that has already paid dividends with critical acclaim and the distribution deal with Landi and Comando G’s importer, Eric Solomon of European Cellars. Having had both Comando G and Landi wines many times, along with my favorites, Alfredo Maestro and 4 Monos, I have been a huge fan of this area for more than a few vintages now. So I was excited to again get a bottle from the guys here, and it looks like now this bottling is sort of the entry level Comando G collection, which has some stellar single cru offerings that have a cult following. This wine is from mostly organic vines, some of which are between 20 and 70 years old set on sandy, granite soils, hence the name, at about 1,000 feet above sea level with a hybrid Atlantic and Continental climate, warm sunny days, arid, but with cool nightime temperatures that really helps these wines retain freshness and vitality. One of the reasons for this wine’s existence is to help farmers make enough to keep the vines, so they don’t sell up and convert the land to condos. Something, as mentioned before, which has threatened about 80% of the vineyard area here and has put the regions traditional history at risk, so there’s another good reason to buy this tasty wine.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive