2011FrontonTinto2012 Fronton de Oro, Tinto, Gran Canaria DO, Canary Islands, Spain.
Made from the Listan Negro and Tintilla varietals the Fronton de Oro is one of my favorite reds from the Canaries, and highlights the exotic flavors of this group of volcanic Islands of the coast of northwestern Africa. Listen Negro makes up the most of this blend with just a touch of Tintilla, Listan Negro is also known as the Mission grape and Tintilla is the same varietal as Graciano a minor Rioja red grape, both work beautifully in this wild marine and volcanic influenced region, showing salty and flinty spice character and medium weighted fruit. The Fronton de Oro 2012 is a complex and detailed wine, with a light perfumed nose of dried flowers and spices, but still rustic, earthy and raw with layers of blackberry, spiced plum, blueberry and cherry fruits along with loads of cayenne/red pepper, chalky stones, saline, black licorice, cedar notes and a hint of leathery game. The color and texture is much the same as Pinot Noir, not too heavy or dark and the tannins settle quickly in the glass, becoming smoother and there is a vital lift of acidity making this wines really wonderful with cuisine. Most people liken these wines to old school Crozes-Hermitage with the Syrah like profile and nature, and while I tend to agree, this are much more exotic and savory with a lighter feel on the palate, but they are for the adventurous and curious more than the mainstream, I am thrilled by the Canary Island wines, especially Suertes del Marques from Tenerife, and the Fronton de Oro wines of Gran Canaria, Fronton de Oro also made a pure Tintilla cuvee and a refreshing demi-sec white blend that are both worth the search for. The Fronton de Oro Tinto 2012 is impressive and alluring now, best to enjoy it with all it’s youth and vibrancy in top gear, drink from 2015 to 2018.
($20 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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