Ross' Weekly Sip: 2017 Envinate ‘Albahra’ Vino de Mesa
When it comes to great importers of fine European wines, few names stick out quite like those of Kermit Lynch, Lewis Dressner or Rosenthal Wine Merchants. Quietly, in the forgotten corners of the Iberian Peninsula, José Pastor Selections has been helping to revive regions and grape verities with some of the deepest traditions and oldest vines in all of Europe. Many of these small producers are making their wines organically, if not biodynamically, not because of fad, but because that’s the way tradition has taught them to make wine.
One of these producers, Envinate, has championed the Canary Islands and Southern Spain. The wines are rich with depth and character, and each one is crafted to show its purist form of terroir in relation to its specific area and varietal. The grapes are grown organically, and the wine making is ‘hands off,’ only using indigenous yeast and keeping sulfur additions to an absolute minimum.
Over the past summer, the wines of Envinate has absolutely taken the United States wine industry by storm. I can say personally that not a day goes by without at least a handful of bottles making their appearance in my Instagram and Facebook feeds, being gushed over by my New York and California counterparts. Generally, when this happens, that means we wont see the wines in the Midwest for years, if at all. Luckily, our friends at Lile Wines have a great relationship with many of the top organic and natural importers, and were able to bring a small quantity of these wines to Missouri for our enjoyment.
Featured at all three of our stores, the 2017 Envinate ‘Albahra’, or ‘small sea,’ is a blend of Garnacha Tentorera and Moravia Agria, both indigenous varietals to the Albacete region of Southern Spain. The former of the two grapes, Garnacha Tentorera, has no relation to classic Garnacha, and is actually a local synonym for the better known, Alicante Bouche, one of the only known grapes on earth with red flesh in addition to its red skin. The grapes come from 50-year-old bush vines and are aged in used French oak barrels for eight months before bottling. The final product bares floral red fruit with a hint of spice and bursting minerality. Of course, this wine pairs perfectly with an assortment of Mediterranean meats and seafood.
2017 Envinate ‘Albahra’ Vino de Mesa $16.99
The Kansas City Wino