Once upon a time there was a land where a forgotten grape called Juan Garcia was hanging from some vine trees.
This is a ribbon of land located in a Centre to North boundary separating Spain from Portugal accounting some space of the historic Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Zamora, the southern part of the former Kingdom of Leon one the parents of the modern Spain along with Castille, Aragon, Navarre and other territories like Asturias and Catalonia.
In the modern times, it was created a Natural Park called Arribes del Duero, taking the name of the crossing river of Duero in Spanish and Douro in Portuguese link the two Iberian countries.
A lush park full of mountain ranges, valleys, terraces, everything you can ask to a environmental place, including a hiding language or dialect mixing original Spanish languages like Bable, Galician and Spanish itself with an almost forgotten called Castuo.
Arribes del Duero became years ago a wine appellation and it tried to build up a flagship name using the almost forgotten “Juan Garcia” grape with the Bruñal and the Rufete
A name coming from a pirate, a peasant or whatever, an easy name, humble and querky grape acknowledged by a few with a powerful neighbor westbound, Porto and eastbound, Tempranillo and Verdejo grapes from the fashionable areas of Ribera del Duero and Rueda.
This is like pretending to win the “La Liga” against F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. a battle since the last ten years, almost always to no avail.
But a princess, a queen, an empress… whatever, landed in this area, along with some locals and believers.
She came from the United Kingdom, somewhere, falling down in this “in the middle of” (literally). That brave woman, Charlotte Allen, incorporated a winery called “Alma Roja” (Red Soul) and she was not reluctant to offer the humble and overlooked grape, Juan Garcia, the deserved place.
And she did it
We taste the “Charlotte Allen 2009; grapes: Juan García, Bruñal, Rufete and Tempranillo from the winery Alma Roja”.
The deep ruby color of this wine is not only bright and shiny but charming full of sticky legs ordering the considerable alcohol level.
How this wine smell can be firstly summarize in two insights, black fruits, like black cherries over ripen relatives with a side candy flavored and the black chocolate with smashing roasted coffee beans of the shelf.
Dark flowers, herbal notes like eucalyptus, pine tree leaves, drying sunny summer grass, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla beans surrounded by nutmeg and oaky smoky aroma with some hints of farmyard.
The palate encompasses the fragrant nose where the species are the main rulers as the black fruits like plum and blackcurrant sit down to see how the spectacle develops.
No full body and thick wine you will find, just startlingly elegant and poised alcohol sensation relating, well not freshness but not overwhelming at all.
The tannins are marked but ripen and silky and the farewell becomes with a long embrace of cacao and chocolate sideways and a little bitter appetizer sensation.
An outstanding wine, full of amazing corners, a reviving grape, Juan Garcia, reveling himself like a gentleman able to fulfill a Queen’s hope.
End of the tale.
*Based on real facts
A humble owl hooting rare or special wines. And yes I am Diploma WSET student and I am training myself reason why I use the Systematic Approach of Tasting