2011 Las Moradas de San Martín Garnacha Senda Madrid

Humble old-vine Garnacha with a bit of bottle age

2011 Las Moradas de San Martín Garnacha Senda Madrid DO

This sample bottle languished for a couple of years before tasting. I was not optimistic that a $13 Garnacha would stand the test of time, but I was wrong.

The wine is grown in the region of Sierra de Gredos, in central Spain, in granitic gravel soils at 870 meters of elevation. The old vines are head-trained, and farming is organic. Harvest was manual and the clusters were de-stemmed and fermented with ambient yeasts, and the wine aged for 10 months in French oak barriques. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

It’s a ruby red, still young looking eight-plus years after harvest. It’s closed at first, but with air offers notes of anise seed, black cherry, cedar, and tobacco. The palate is both juicy and astringent, the two battling for supremacy from front of palate to back, from first sip to finish. The faintest stain of age adds dimension. The wine’s ample alcohol is a distraction, but that is the way of Grenache in warm climates.

Pair it with game meats, kid and lamb, smoked pork shoulder, and rich beefy braises. Or try a mixed charcuterie plate of ewe’s milk cheeses, jamón, and salchichón scattered with almonds and olives. Buy a few bottles and let them languish.

2011 Las Moradas de San Martín Garnacha Senda Madrid DO

15% abv | $13 (sample) Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection, Ltd.

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