Calatayud is a wine region in Spain that is part of the Spanish Denominacion de Origen, or DO. The region is located about 90 kilometers from Zaragoza, and extends over 46 municipalities. The region has more than 5,600 hectares, and borders the Soria DO in the west, and the Cariñena Do in the east. Calatayud is located in the Reiver Ebro Valley and is overlapped by the Mesa, Piedra, Manubles, Jalon, Jiloca, and Ribota Rivers to name a few. The vineyards in the region can be found on the south facing slopes of the Sierra de la Virgen range between 500 and 800 meters above sea level. Calatayud became the Aragon’s second largest wine-producing region in Spain after Cariñena.
Calatayud has a continental climate with cold winters, and hot and dry summers. The annual temperature rarely exceeds 55.4° F. The region does experience frost about six months of the year.
The majority of the vines are planted in loose and stony soil that is low in nutrients with high lime content. The permeability of the soil is good which means that the roots are able to get the nutrients and water required to produce wine making grapes. Red grapes are predominant in the region and account for 83% of the vines planted.
“ES LO QUE HAY - it is what it is. A common Spanish expression, but one I like to reserve for the few old high altitude Garnacha vineyards that survive in Aragon . What you taste in the bottle is a true expression of what there is in the vineyard. It´s as simple as that.”
High altitude ancient vineyards (75-100 years) at 1,000 to 1,100 meters above sea level with Pizarra slate and quartzite soils. Completely dry grown and unirrigated, this is an inhospitable continental climate with extreme changes of temperature where mountain herbs, almonds, cherry trees and Garnacha form a breathtaking patchwork. Low annual rainfall of 200-300mm and the remarkable soils produce fine and elegant Garnacha which is punctuated by intense black fruit flavors with complex mineral, smoke and garrigue notes.
"The red 2018 Es Lo Que Hay, comes from a vintage Norrel Robertson describes as "one of the standout years in our 17 years producing Garnacha." This is mostly Garnacha, with just 5% other grapes, as it comes exclusively from two old vineyards in the village of Villarroya de la Sierra, and such vineyards always have a small proportion of other grapes, mostly Moristel with a little Miguel de Arco and some Provechón (Bobal). All the varieties fermented together destemmed after a five-day cold soak with the natural yeasts and then matured in Flextank egg for 15 months. This is softer, with more clay and limestone influence rather than the slate soils from the vineyards used in the past for the cuvée. This has more depth and complexity, perhaps from the other grape varieties that complement the Garnacha, and probably has a little more acidity and tannin. It has tension, minerality and good acidity, probably from the Moristel, which tends to ripen a little later than the Garnacha. Tasty. Again, not a shy wine at 15% alcohol but nicely balanced. 3,966 bottles were filled in March 2020.- Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #248, April 2020), 93 pts
Figaro Tinto Calatayud is 100% Garnacha, made from a selection of the best grapes grown in the oldest vineyards. While not truly an "oaked wine", a short stay in oak barrels provides a nice spicy flavor boost.
Tasting notes: Bright violet. Dark berry and cherry aromas show a jammy aspect. Supple and gently sweet, with good lift to its black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Smooth and broad on the finish, leaving behind a hint of spiciness. Extremely easy to drink and an excellent value.
Rubus Proprietary Red is made from 90% Garnacha and 10% Syrah
Tasting Notes: This blend of red varietals combine to produce a flavorsome wine rich in blackberry and plum fruits. Aromas of subtle spices, berry and fruitcake.
The Grenaches represent 90% of the final blend. From all the Grenaches, more than 70% is represented by Garnacha Tinta, from 35 year old vines planted on very small plots using the goblet (bush vine) pruning technique, where you can see the typicities of it, the survival spirit of the vine and everything is very artisanal. The remaining Grenache is a blend of Garnacha Peluda (Lledoner Pelut), Garnacha Tintorera and some loose Garnacha Blanca vines.
The Syrah, representing 10% of the final blend, is mostly planted in trellis with irrigation, all mechanized, but where its quality is not diminished since this foreign variety requires another form of viticulture, it needs more water and other cultivation techniques, producing aromatic wines with a lot of color, contributing what the Grenache may lack.
Located in a mountainous area called SistemaI Ibérico, in an area with great geographical interest, undulating soils, and with a maximum altitude close to 1000 masl, characterized on stony, loose and nutrient-poor soils. Being heterogeneous soils in their entirety, but intended for this assembly, 80% of vineyards located at an altitude higher than 800 meters above sea level, planted in goblet (bush vine) with 60% of vines over 50 years old.
We can find these types of soils:
- Gravel, composed of pebbles and boulders, coming from alluvium, with good drainage giving intense, structured and fleshy wines.
- Red Slates, with low fertility and where they hardly retain rainwater, giving subtle, fine and elegant wines.
- Slates gray, darker in color, retain the heat of the day and expel it at night, resulting in high-grade grapes and low yields, with structured wines and mineral notes.
- Marl or marlstone, Composed of limestones and clays, deep soils, giving wines with body, warm, powerful and aromatic.
- In addition to areas with clay, sandy and limestone soils.
Vinification is carried out separately, using different strains of Saccharomyces yeasts, but also non-Saccharomyces strains for sugar consumption and that do not produce ethanol. We look for strains of yeast that provide primary aromas in the less old grenache, in the old we look for strains that provide polysaccharides from their cell walls and that produce glycerol. For the Syrah, vinifications are made at a lower temperature to favor primary and secondary aromas, but with successive delestages (racking) to obtain color; and once the alcoholic fermentation is finished, we make a first blending based on the correction of the acidity, so that later the malolactic fermentation takes place and once finished we decide on a final blend before the brief ageing in French oak of part of the blend, the part that we want to round by the contribution of tannin from the oak that will polymerize with the tannin of the grape.
Pairs with grilled meats, lamb, duck or barbecue pork
Tres Ojos Garnacha Calatayud is made from 100 percent 85% Old Vine Garnacha (40-50 year old vines) and 15% Tempranillo.
The wine has a brick red color with a bouquet of red raspberries, spice and white pepper. The palate is incredibly concentrated and rich. The modern styles of Garnacha in Spain are continuously being perceived worldwide as wines of extraordinarily good quality. This wine is fruity, juicy and shows a great depth, ripe tannins, length but yet with wonderful elegance and lightness.
The wine ferments for 7 days at 30ºC, followed by 14 days maceration on the skins. Aged 12 months in large stainless steel vats. Cold stabilized and lightly filtered before bottling
Enjoy with sausages, roasted meats, aged cheeses etc.
Tres Ojos Rosado Calatayud is fresh, crisp and juicy Rose made of 50% Garnacha and 50% Tempranillo displaying beautiful strawberry and raspberry fruits. Enjoy with salads, chicken or simply with a glass. Serve chilled.
"Coming from the Calatayud region of Spain and 70% Garnacha and 30% Tempranillo, the 2019 Rosado Rose boasts a medium ruby hue as well as a big bouquet of ripe cherry, watermelon, framboise fruits, and a touch of spice. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, with plenty of richness yet also good acidity, it’s going to be incredibly versatile with food and drink beautifully over the coming summer months." - Jeb Dunnuck (March 2020), 90 pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Penedo Borges Icono Malbec is made from 85% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot
Dark purple color.
Complex aromas of predominent ripe red fruit such as plum, cherry and raspberry with spicy notes.
Chocolate and vanilla flavors from barrel ageing which provide complexity and elegance.
Wine of great lenght.
Red meats, lamb, beef stew, strong cheese.