2019 Bernabeleva Vina Bonita Vinos de Madrid
Wine Details for 2019 Bernabeleva Vina Bonita Vinos de Madrid
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: Spanish wines shouldn't be overlooked under any circumstances, as there are plenty of extraordinary wines coming from this country. There are also lots of grape varietals grown all over Spain. Some of the most gorgeous red varieties are the early-harvested Tempranillo, raspberry-flavored Garnacha, Bobal, Monastrell, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.
: The vast and complex world of grape varietals is wondrous, fascinating and somewhat baffling. The how and why certain varietals either prosper or fail in winegrowing regions around the world is interesting; varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon thrive in extremely gravely soils, while Merlot finds success in rich clay. The Grenache grape variety is no exception. It excels in some of the most “inhospitable” soils and climates; inhospitable perhaps for anything but the wonderful Grenache grape. It seems adaptable to harsher climates and terroir and when at its best can produce one of the most concentrated and alcohol laden wines.
Grenache (or Garnacha as it is called in Spain) is believed to have originated from the north-eastern Spanish province of Aragon. The varietal first spread south and east, to Catalonia, Rioja and Navarra. It expanded greatly throughout the 12th-17th century, to Corsica, Sardinia, Southern Italy, Sicily, Croatia and even Greece. It was first planted in France in the Languedoc region in the 18th century and eventually its arrival to Rhone in the 19th century. The worldwide expansion of Grenache was inevitable and would eventually find its way to Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Provence and America. It was first introduced to California by Charles Lefranc, a prominent Santa Clara winegrower, in 1857.
Today, Grenache is one of the most popular and widely cultivated grape varietals in the world covering 163,000 hectares world-wide. It has been used in a myriad of ways and has been both, the workhorse and backbone in blending but also as a single-varietal. It is undoubtedly the magical component of the infamous Chateauneuf-Du-Pape appellation of France where a sea of Grenache grape vines grace the vineyards. Though there are 13 allowable varietals permitted by law in the AOC (controlled designation of origin), Grenache makes up 70-75% of all grapes grown in the appellation. It flourishes in a terroir of large stones, crystalline rocks, quartz, sandstone and the famous ‘galets roules’ (large round stones found throughout Southern Rhone). Chateau Rayas, which produces, perhaps the truest expression of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape is composed of 100% Grenache. Due to grape’s thin skin, the wine of Rayas is reminiscent to the color of red Burgundy offerings.
In Provence, Grenache is widely used in the blending of Rose wines. The great Sasha Lichine, of Chateau D’Esclans, who revolutionized the rose industry uses Grenache as the primary blending agent in his fleet of Rose. The grape’s phenolic qualities, ageability and character have lent to the success of D’Esclans, as his Garrus is the world’s most renowned, prestigious rose wine, while his Whispering Angel is the top-selling French rose in the United States.
In California, Grenache has taken on “new life” as it has found great success in the last 20-some years. New World winemakers and growers have adopted the grape (along with Syrah), producing what is referred to as “Rhone Rangers.” Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non and Alban Vineyards may be some of the finest examples of Grenache in California. Alban vineyards was the first important California winery to produce single-vineyard “Rhone” varietals, beginning a craze among other vintners as well as consumers. Krankl has fashioned ethereal wines from 100% Grenache that rival the greatest expression of Grenache in the world, earning him the title “California Cult” producer.
The varietal’s birthplace and most of Spain’s winegrowing regions have enjoyed great success with Grenache (Garnacha), where the varietal thrives in its natural elements of the hot and windy Mediterranean valleys. It ripens late with a long hang-time, so it needs hot, dry conditions. The long and deep roots are well suited to water stress, allowing for super concentrated flavors and aromas, especially with old vines. Spain has some of the finest Garnacha offerings as well as some of the least expensive in the world.
The incredible adaptability to areas of such inhospitable, dry and infertile soils is a mystical quality of Grenache. The world has been granted a gift, one that suits every budget and nearly every palate. From Chateauneuf-Du-Pape to Rose, to Cotes-Du-Rhone to Spanish Garnacha, the varietal has certainly earned its spot on the top of hot list.
: Grapevines have been cultivated on the Iberian Peninsula for thousands of years, making Spain one of the oldest wine producing countries on earth. With nearly 1 million hectares under vine, Spain is in possession of more grapevines that any other nation in the world. Today, vineyard cultivation takes place in virtually every administrative district, making it a leading producer on today’s market. Spain’s vineyards generate an annual wine output of 40.7 million hectoliters, ranking it third in the world behind only France and Italy.
Spain is a land of breathtaking beauty, diverse topography, complex cultures and a time honored tradition of viticulture. The country’s broad geographical values play a major role in defining the many wine styles produced. From the cool climes of Galicia and the snow-capped Pyrenees to arid Andalucía in the south, and every region in between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Spain boasts one of the most diverse terroirs in the world.
The country’s myriad of soils and complex climate systems creates an expansive planting ground for a multitude of varietals. Tempranillo has long played an instrumental role in Spanish winemaking. It is important to note that of the 236,000 hectares being cultivated world-wide, 202,000 are planted in Spain. It is commonly utilized in the production of still red wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro and has taken the world by storm. In the past few decades, wines produced in Rioja have been some of the most popular, and in 2017, wines with a “Rioja” label were the most purchased on the wine market. Bodegas Vega Sicilia, located in Ribera del Duero in northern Spain has been one of the most sought after producers hailing from Spain, and Tinta de Toro (otherwise known as Tempranillo everywhere else) has certainly placed its mark on the region and the world.
Spain is also renowned for its production of sweet, raisened Moscatel, fortified Madeira, sparkling Cava and its rising, but shining star, Albarino, which hails from the Rias Baixas appellation of Galicia. Some of the most recognizable names in the world of wine hail from Spain.
In the past few decades there has been a collision of New and Old World winemaking; one which has greatly contributed to the continued success of the Spanish wine industry. Modernization of vineyards, facilities and viticulture has greatly improved the significance of Spain in the wine market. Syrah and Merlot have taken root in Spanish wine regions and combined with the indigenous Garnacha (Grenache) Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc), Godello and many others, the country has not only adapted to new styles of winemaking but also the ever changing palate of consumers.
: Spain is home to some absolutely masterfully crafted wines. Their culture gets romanticized in many works of prose, and it's easy to see where the appeal lies. The wines serve as an extension of that culture and stand among the tallest titans in the world. With powerhouse varietals like Airen, Tempranillo and Grenache brought to their full potential, these bottles hold a unique appeal without sacrificing what makes wine approachable and popular.
Imagine an inspirational guitar performance. The artist's fingers are darting around accurately, and it's hard to keep track of all his hand movements. All you know is that he is making the strings dance vivaciously and produce a veritable symphony of intricately woven notes, each note adding something unique and pleasant to the overall composition. That's what sampling a Spanish wine is like. The wines are fresh, possessing an intense yet elegant fruitiness to them that feels like you're enjoying a healthy bowl of fruit salad on the side. Whatever your preference may be, Spanish wines are an essential, unmissable part of wine culture. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped out on these amazing drinks, which is why we've arranged a selection of only the finest wines Spain has to offer.
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Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP