Grapes: 36% Garnacha, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Tempranillo and 4% Merlot
This is the third vintage for this family project from the Colas family. They own 12 hectares in Alhama de Aragon, Calatayud. The vineyards are organically farmed and have been certified for 16 years. 2012 started with a severe, dry winter which led to a hot and dry summer. The vines struggled a lot against the poor growing season and yielded only 40-50% of their usual fruit with tiny, concentrated berries.
Harvest is staggered based on variety, soil type, and exposure, starting in early-September and lasting until the first week of October. Fermented in 25hl tanks with periodic punch-downs. The wine was macerated with skins for 15 days. Alcoholic fermentation occurred spontaneously with native yeasts. ML occurred in barrel. Each variety was aged separately for 22 months in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels, 4 months longer than normal given the concentrated character of the vintage. Following blending, the wine was clarified using egg whites. Bottled unfiltered.
View from the Cellar
The 2012 Roque Colás is comprised of a blend of thirty-five percent Garnacha, thirty percent Tempranillo, thirty percent Cabernet Sauvignon and five percent Merlot. The vineyards are all tended organically, with the vine age ranging from seventeen up to eighty-five years of age. The 2012 is a ripe wine, coming in at a full fifteen percent, with the wine raised in ten percent new oak, with the remainder of the casks of varying ages and predominantly French in origin. The wine is impressively well-balanced for its octane, offering up a deep and complex nose of ripe black cherries, black raspberries, dark chocolate, discreet balsamic tones, woodsmoke, chicory, a dollop of garrigue and just a touch of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and sappy at the core, with some chewy tannins, fine focus and grip and a long, slightly warm finish. 2012 was quite the short crop and perhaps in other vintages, the octane of this very well-made wine is a bit lower. At fourteen percent alcohol, this would be utterly brilliant, but fifteen percent is a pretty heavy cross to bear. Still, this wine is pretty light on its feet for its octane. 2016-2025+?
(For those who do not mind this level of alcohol, add fully four points here, as this wine is very well-made in its headier style.)
Issue Sixty-One January-February 2016
Opaque ruby. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, incense and smoky minerals, with a floral nuance building in the glass. Sweet, seamless and concentrated, offering intense black raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors given spine by juicy acidity. Closes broad and very long, with smooth tannins coming in late to add gentle grip. This sexy wine was aged for 22 months in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels, 10% of them new. 2018 – 2022 Central Spain: Tempranillo and Beyond