20127Fuentes2012 Suertes del Marques, 7 Fuentes, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The Canary Island wines fascinate me and I am always left with a sense of wonder and amazement, grapes grown on serve volcanic soils off the north west coast of Africa, these are unique and intriguing wines. The Suertes del Marques winery on Tenerife is one of my favorites, if not my very favorite, they produce a fantastic set of red wines from mostly Listan Negro, which is also known as the Mission Grape, probably originally coming from mainland Spain, it was the most successful seafaring varietal to make it to the new world (South America & California included), and has been known to last 200 to 300 years, there are some vines still producing wines in Chile that are 250 plus years old, and it has maybe found it’s greatest expression and true home here in the Canary Islands. The 7 Fuentes Tinto is a red made mostly from Listan Negro, but has a touch of Tintilla, a grape that is most likely the same as Graciano, a Rioja grape, which is also found in Jerez (Sherry) which blends nicely with the Listan, it comes from a mix of old and young vines grown on volcanic and clay/loam at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 2,000 feet. I love this wine, it starts with exotic spice, dried flowers, savory/flinty notes and poached red fruits leading to a medium bodied palate of raspberry, damson plum, briar, anise, kirsch/cherry fruits along with cayenne pepper, fig, earthy/meaty notes and sea salt with a lingering blueberry and chalky mineral finish. There is lots of vigor and energy in this wine, which has some qualities that remind you of Syrah though has a more Pinot like color and lightness while still being wild and robust, made in concrete and stainless vats then aged in cement tank and large old French cask, this wine is pure terroir and it has joyous layers, silky tannins and will be pleasing for 3 to 5 years easy, drink from 2014 to 2018. The 2012 7 Fuentes is a lovely fresh example of the house style, be sure to check out these wines, especially this one, plus I highly recommend the La Solana and the El Ciruelo from the 100 year old parcels.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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