sábado, 9 de marzo de 2013

Via Terra Garnacha Tinto DO Terra Alta, Edetaria 2011


"100% Garnatxa Fina from at least 25 year old vines from the 'Tapas blancas' terroir, aged 4-6 months in French oak. It combines two different wine-making processes, one with cold maceration to give all the freshness and authenticity of Garnatxa Fina's fruits, and a second one, more traditional, with riper grapes for obtaining complex structure. Intense fresh bouquet of cherry, plum, marzipan, red peppers, with hints of wild herbs, complex and structured on the palate, enriched with red fruits, elegant sweet soft tannins and lingering finish. Serve at 15-16 degC". burridgewine

Retail price: £11


Grenache (Garnacha) is a red-wine grape variety grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. It is a particularly versatile both in the vineyard and the winery, which may explain why it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world.

Grenache is the French (and most internationally recognized) name for the grape, but it has a number of synonyms. In Spain, where it is grown extensively, it is known as Garnacha, and on the island of Sardinia it has been known for centuries as Cannonau. Some believe that the grape originated in Sardinia, and was taken back to Spain by the Aragonese, who occupied the island in the 14th Century.

In France Grenache is most widely planted in the southern Rhone Valley and throughout both Provence and Lanauedoc-Roussillon. It's a grape that, used in blends, provides winemakers with all sorts of possibilities. Grenache-based rosé is one of southern France's signature wine styles, of which the finest examples come from the towns of Tavel and Lirac. Near the border with Spain, Grenache is behind the sweet wines of Banyuls.

In Spain, Garnacha is the second most planted red-wine grape variety. It is out-planted only by its modem blending partner, Tempranillo. It is grown in almost every area of Spain, but most notably in the north and east. The arrival of the grapevine pest phylloxera to the Iberian Peninsula, in the 19th Century, brought unexpected benefits to Garnacha; as the native vines were devastated (Rioja was particularly badly affected) it was robust Gamacha which re-energized the vineyards and helped to re-energize the wine industry.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Grenache’s status was reduced, but it survived efforts to eradicate it, returning to international favor in the 21st Century. Emerging wine-producing nations such as China. Mexico and Israel are now cultivating this ubiquitous grape variety.

Grenache is a vigorous and hardy vine with a strong wooden frame, often grown as free-standing bush vines. It is resistant to wind and drought, making it suitable for use in arid climates in California and South Australia. Because it is often grown in hot environments, the alcohol levels of Grenache-based wines can be very high, often surpassing 15% ABV. Some Australian winemakers use Grenache as the base for fortified, port-style wines.

Grenache berries have thin skin and ripen late in the growing season. Acid and tannins can be variable depending on growing conditions and cropping levels, but tends towards the low-medium end of the spectrum. However, old vine Grenache grown in schist or stone, such as in Priorat and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. can produce profoundly concentrated wines capable of ageing over many decades.

Grenache has many guises. Combined with Syrah and Mourvedre (Monastrell in Spain), it creates a blend that is of great historical importance to both the Cotes du Rhone and Australia. It is the main constituent of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Giaondas wine, generally making up around 75% of the blend.

Produced as varietal wine, Grenache exhibits rich, spicy, berry flavors, particularly raspberry.

Popular blends include: Grenache - Svrah; Grenache - Tempranillo; GSM; Southern Rhone blend

Synonyms include: Grenache Noir, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa, Lladoner, Tinto Aragones, Cannonau, Alicante, Granaccia, Tocai Rosso.

Related grape varieties include: Grenache Blanc; Grenache Gris; Alicante Bouschet; Marselan.


Terra Alta DO (Denominación de Origen) is the most southerly of Catalonia's wine regions, lying on the border of the inland section of Tarragona. It also has the highest altitude, with the mountain peaks here reaching a height of 3000ft (950m). The vineyards are located further down, in the foothills and on valley floors. Unsurprisingly then its name Terra Alta means 'high land' in Catalan. The picturesque region has been captured in a number of paintings by the renowned artist, Pablo Picasso, who spent some summers here. Terra Alta was awarded DO status in 1985 and has undergone a period of modernization since its promotion.

The Ancient Romans were thought to have introduced viticulture to the area, as their Roman road connecting Zaragoza to Tortosa passed through the region, bringing settlers. In medieval times, the Knights Templar also tended to vines in the area. Its isolated location led to many vines being pulled in favor of olives. A particular style of oxidized wine, called amber blanc, from the region gained popularity in the 19th Century, but the phylloxera louse struck down the region at the end of the century, interrupting wine production for close to half a century. Until relatively recently Terra Alta's wines were destined for local consumption. The nearby Priorat DOCa, to its east has raised the area's profile and catalyzed change.

The climate is a mix of Mediterranean and continental, with long, hot summers and very cold winters, when the temperature falls as low as 23F (-5C). El Cierzo, a local dry wind which originates in the Ebro River valley to the west, plays a vital role in moderating temperatures during the growing season, as well as helping to prevent fungal diseases on the vines. The soils are clay and coastal limestone with good drainage.

Terra Alta is best known for its smaller producers, although co-operatives have traditionally played a vital role. Modernist buildings for several cooperative wineries were designed in the early 20th Century by Catalan architect Cesar Martinell, who was a student of Antoni Gaudi. They include the famous El Pinell de Brai near the town of Gandesa.

The region produces a wide range of wines from grape varieties such as Garnacha Blanca, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatel, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc for whites, and Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah, Ull de Liebre (Tempranillo), Merlot and Cabernet Franc for reds.

The local Consejo Regulador authorizes the production of blanco (white), rosado (rosé) and tinto (red) wines. Some winemakers are experimenting with cold fermentation to produce fruitier, fresher styles of wine. Some barrel aged wines are also authorized including Crianzas.

More traditional wine styles such as oxidized rancio wines and sweet wines from over-ripened Garnacha grapes.

References: burridgewine and wine-searcher

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