Grapes: 88% Garnacha and 12% Syrah
The predominant grape variety is a type of Garnacha known as Garnacha Tintorera, one of the few red fleshed grapes yielding colored juice immediately after crushing. The site of the vineyards is at an altitude of between 2,952 and 3,608 feet above sea level, which has proven ideal for this special clone of Garnacha as well as maintaining a surprising amount of acidity from this warm corner of Spain. The climate is dry and arid, with cold winters and warm summers. The low-organic
matter soil and the climate contribute to low yielding vines.
Higueruela is made using a cold maceration technique, whereby the de-stemmed grapes are treated with a dry ice at low temperatures and macerated for 8-10 days. A small proportion (5%) of young vines fruit proceeds through carbonic maceration. Both techniques are used to obtain a wine with less astringency and more aromatic complexity. The wines are made using a long and slow fermentation.
No oak, aged for 4 months in tank.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Brooding blackcurrant, dark cherry, tobacco and espresso on the nose; this is more serious than most wines at this price point. Spicy cherry and dark berry flavors are underscored by licorice, black tea and bitter chocolate. Firm tannins carry into the finish, which picks up a sweeter mocha quality. I wonder if most ten-buck wine buyers will be able to wrap their palates around this uncompromising style. Issue 133, July/Aug '07