In both Chile and California, the grape has been taken out, buried in blends or reserved for local consumption. However more just recently, manufacturers in both locations have been making and selling remarkable wines with the grape.As many readers noted, the Envínate Benje had a somewhat cool aroma, which smelled to me like flowers and red fruits, with a touch of rotten egg. Often, this quality can emerge when a wine is made in airtight conditions, but this white wine was fermented in concrete and aged in old barrels, both of which allow a small degree of oxygenation, so that would not have actually been the cause.I asked the importer, José Pastor, about this, and
he hypothesized that it may have been an outcome of the vines growing in volcanic soils with low pH and few nutrients. Regardless, I decanted the wine to give it some air and the funk was soon gone. The red wine itself was light-bodied, nearly delicate, with a lacy texture and earthy, mineral, floral tastes. It was lovely with pan-roasted steelhead trout.Laura Lorenzo of Daterra works mainly in Galicia, the northwest corner of Spain, where
she has actually either obtained or rents old heritage vineyards that are sometimes full of little-known native grapes.Her red wine, Camino de la Frontera Tinto, originates from an ancient vineyard a little south of Galicia, in a nature sanctuary west of the city of Salamanca near the Portuguese border. It’s made primarily of a grape called Juan García, with other regional varieties and tempranillo, and it’s stunning– exuberantly perfumed with fragrances of dried flowers and red fruits. Like the Envínate, it’s light-bodied however complete of energy and life, and absolutely delicious.By contrast, Goyo García Viadero works in a more established region, Ribera del Duero, and largely with tinto fino, as the widely known tempranillo grape is contacted the area. However unlike numerous Ribera manufacturers, who operate in a modern style, Mr. García has actually tried to protect older methods; he typically uses heritage vineyards in which red and white varieties, like tinto fino and albillo, grow side by side. He ferments them together as well.The Joven de Viñas Viejas– actually, young of old vines– is made strictly of old-vine tinto fino. “Joven”indicates it’s mostly unaged– fermented in steel vats and intended for early consumption,
as it’s the initial bottle to his range.