At a recent event announcing the acquisition of The Robert Parker Wine Guide by Michelin Guides, wine reviewers introduced a few of the wines they personally enjoyed throughout 2019 and shared as a prelude to a “Matter of Taste,” event.
While 10 wines were available, my favorites included:
- 2015 Domaines Lupier La Dama, Navarra, Spain. Organic and Biodynamic. Grape: Grenache.
La Dama is owned by Enrique Basarte and Elisa Ucar. This small winery is located in San Martin de Unx, in the province of Navarra, Spain.
In Spain, Grenache (Garnacha) is the second most planted red grape variety. On the island of Sardinia, the grape is known as Cannonau and it is believed that the grape originated here and was taken to Spain by the Aragonese who occupied the island in the 14th century. In the 19th century phylloxera brought benefits to Garnacha because the native vines were devastated; however, the robust Garnacha was able to replenish the vineyards and revive the wine industry.
The Garnacha variety is vigorous and hardy, resists wind and drought and is suitable for arid climates. Frequently grown in hot environments, the alcohol levels of Grenache – based wines can be high, often greater than 15 percent ABV. The berries have thin skin and ripen late in the growing season although the acid and tannins can be variable depending on growing conditions and cropping levels.
La Dama is a red wine made from Garnacha grapes selected from 15 different plots of land with 75-year old vines. Some of the vines date back to the beginning of the 20th century, grown on different soils, with different orientations and altitudes ranging from 400 – 750 meters, and express the character of their terroir. The wine is aged for 14 months in 700, 500 and 300l French oak barrels
The eye is delighted with deep ruby red hues trending to black. The nose finds aromas of rose petals, orange peel, herbs, cherries and wet wood. The palate gets to experience chalky tannins and a hint of stone as a foundation for black currants, leather, tobacco, and leather. The long dry finish delivers cherry – ness and minerality that is memorable. This wine pairs well with braised, stewed and grilled meat, including beef, veal, pork, chicken and game. It also befriends cassoulet and less spicy styles of Asian cuisine. READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL.