A new series featuring wines made in tiny quantities (free toy microscope with every bottle). These wines are strictly allocated (alas), so please enquire about availability.
As rare as…wings upon a cat, or flowers of air, a rabbit’s horns, or ropes of tortoise-hair
2016 Comando G El Tamboril
A short distance from Madrid, the rugged, weathered peaks of the Sierra de Gredos serve as a refreshingly cool retreat from the heat and the bustle of the capital. Ancient hilltop towns and cottages dot the tortured landscape of alpine meadows, tumbled boulders and thick scrub brush. Clustered around this rocky spine are several DOs most notably Mentrida and Viños de Madrid which are best known for producing reliably inexpensive and simple country wines to slake the thirst of the capital. But viticulture in Spain is ancient and tenacious, so the adventurous can also find vineyards planted in the most impossible places, including rockfalls and natural amphitheatres high up in the most remote parts of the mountains.
Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia, friends since college, found themselves working in the area bounded by the Sierra de Gredos: Dani at his family’s estate, Bodegas Jimenez-Landi and Fernando at Bodega Marañones. Drawn to the mountains and rumours of small, nearly inaccessible vineyard plots located high in the Sierra de Gredos, over time they began purchasing and leasing the best sites they could find, creating their own project, Comando G in 2008. Along with many of the new innovators in the Priorat region, Dani and Fernando are redefining what was previously viewed as a workhorse variety, Garnacha, into something that can rival Burgundy. With careful winemaking they manage to extract the personality from each individual plot. There are three hectares of old Garnacha vines spread out among the villages of Cadalso de los Vidrios and Rozas de Puerto Real, near the Sierra de Gredos mountains, on granite soil and at an altitude of between 900 and 1,000 metres.
Viticulture in Spain is ancient and tenacious, so the adventurous can also find vineyards planted in the most impossible places.
From a tiny vineyard of 0.2 hectares of mixed Garnacha Blanca and Garnacha Gris planted on sandy quartz and granite at 1,230 metres (!), El Tamboril is a remarkable example of how Spain has begun to redefine itself as capable of producing white wines that rival those of Germany and Burgundy. Hand harvested and whole cluster pressed directly into concrete eggs for a natural yeast fermentation followed by 10 months in a neutral French oak demi-muid. The wine is intriguingly complex, unfurls multiple layers of flavour, and definitely ought not to be served too cold. The nose is discreetly floral (nuances of gorse blossom, hawthorn, garrigue), the palate is a wonderful crush of preserved citrus and stone, and there’s a whisper of dried herbs and lees-spice.
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