ENVINATE Albahra 2019

ENVINATE Albahra 2019

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A pure, high-toned nose, floral red fruit, with hints of spice and bursting with minerality.

 

Probably the most intriguing producer in Spain at the moment, Envinate are seeking to elevate the ancient Atlantic influenced terroirs of Ribeira Sacra, The Canary Islands and Extremadura. Albahra is marked by ripe, earthy fruit, dusty tannins and fresh acidity, it’s an approachable and highly enjoyable wine. It’s lightly rustic, and the perfect accompaniment to a long lunch of grilled meats and vegetables.

Producer: Envinate

Region/Country: Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Grape/s: Garnacha Tintorea

Production Method: Organic farming, whole bunch, wild fermentation in concrete tanks. 8 months maturation in old French oak, bottled unfiltered

Style: Fresh and vibrant red with exotic, smoky aromatics and flavours

Pairing Suggestion: Vegetable dishes, bbq, on it’s own

Envinate

Envínate (aka wine-yourself) is the brainchild of Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente, four friends who met while studying oenology at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante. Their philosophy is simple: let each single parcel fully express itself through old-fashioned farming and wine-making methods.

From The Natty Boy

These guys are up there with my favourite producers, every wine they put out is so unique in its personality that I can't get enough. They have vineyards throughout Spain, from Ribera Sacra in the north to the Canary Islands. Albahra is a blend of Garnacha Tintorera (also known as Alicante Bouchet, this is a red skinned grape) and Moraviva Agria (which you'd be forgiven for never having heard of) from a vineyard in Almansa (SE Spain, just inland from Alicante). The vineyard practices are sustainable, it is nice and dry here so all the usual fungal issues are avoided and it is all essentially organic farming. The two varieties are hand harvested and vinified separately. The GT is foot-trodden with about 50% stems included (the stems act as channels for the juice to flow out of, as well as adding tannins to the juice) before macerating for 6-10 days to leech colour and flavour from the skins. It is naturally fermented (this just means the ambient yeast in the winery begins the fermentation as opposed to adding powdered yeast) and then spends 8 months in the barrel. The MA is destemmed and macerates for a week on skins prior to fermentation. It too sits in barrel for 8 months. This for me tastes so Spanish in its rusticity. It's classy, yet playful and incredibly moreish. Envinate are (amongst others) really at the forefront of the modern Spanish movement toward producing fresher wines. This pairs extremely well with such a broad range of foods, anything Mediterranean from meats to seafood dishes and veg. This part of Spain is quite heavily influenced by its Arabic past, and I can see this going down a dream with tagine.

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