A beautiful red from Granada

Naranjuez is fantastic.

Someone once said that life is too short to drink crap wines. They may not have phrased it quite so elegantly, but the gist was there.

The wines from Granada overlooking the Sierra Nevada are not generally well known.Naranjuez lies on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada – Spain’s highest mountain range - in the province of Granada in south-east Spain. The winery is in the village of Marchal and the vineyards are at 900 m altitude on the banks of the Alhama river.

Antonio Vílchez is the spirit and soul of this tiny project. Wine was already in his blood – Manuel Valenzuela from Bodega Barranco Oscuro is his cousin – and having been influenced by the “natural” wine movement in France, he decided to start making wine in Granada in the late 1990s. He has two hectares in the Pago del Naranjuez, north facing at 900 metres altitude.

Winemaking is artisanal, using only wild yeasts and no sulphur. The wines are not filtered or fined.

Prisa Mata is a blend of Tempranillo (45%), Cabernet Franc (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), Merlot (10%), Pinot Noir (10%) and Garnacha (5%). Each variety is harvested and vinified separately. Maceration is for 6-8 days, alcoholic and malolactic fermentation is spontaneous with use of wild yeasts and no temperature control

Prisa Mata translates as “haste kills”...! a reference to Antonio’s (and most of Andalucía) philosophy on life.

At room temperature the Prisa Mata initially offers notes of warm butter and is plummy, meshing soft dark fruits with fresh red ones. There is some smokiness in the background and a definable minerality as well as some firm tannins. Half an hour in the fridge transforms the wine. Aromas of violets and wild cherries lead to pronounced roast meat flavours dusted with herbs and pepper, a hint of bitter chocolate finishing with fresh acidity. The wine seems to attain its balance in the glass and ultimately possesses a beautiful natural quality that makes it so hard to resist.

Posted by Doug on 09-Jun-2010. Permalink
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