Herència Altés La Serra Negre 2015 - 750ml
93+ Wine Advocate
The 2015 La Serra Negre is a blend of old-vine Cariñena with 20% Garnacha from a single vineyard that names the wine. I see a lot less oak here, and the wines are showing better balance, more purity and letting the terroir shine through. This is a great Cariñena with the floral and tree bark notes, both earthy and ethereal. The palate shows some grainy, chalky tannins that provide a very tasty, almost salty finish. 2,000 bottles produced.
FARMING: Certified organic (CCPAE)
ELEVATION: 420-480 meters
AGE OF VINES: 100+
SOIL: Sandy clay limestone
FERMENTATION: Hand harvested, 24 hour prefermentation cooling, sorted, destemmed, crushed, fermentation in a 1500L French oak vat, manual pigeage
AGING:12 months in 300L French oak barrels
Nuria Altés, like many young vintners in Spain, comes from a family who have grown grapes for generations. Tucked away in a remote corner of Catalunya, Nuria’s new project, Herència Altés is situated outside the village of Batea, in the DO of Terra Alta. Remarkably Terra Alta is one of the largest wine growing regions in Cataluyna and one which few are aware – something Nuria has set about changing. Having grown up among the vines that her grandfather tended, Nuria has known these vineyards since her childhood and made the decision in 2010 to start purchasing grapes from her father to make her own personal wines. In this project she is assisted by her partner Rafael de Haan and together they inaugurated a new cellar in her hometown of Batea for the 2016 vintage.
The soils around the village of Batea are referred to as Panal – a chalky and sandy topsoil over deep, clay-limestone all underpinned by limestone bedrock. Panal is naturally low in nutrients with a tremendous capacity for storing water which is important for the wines as the summers are warm and dry and almost always windy alternating between the continental Cirç and the easterly Garbi bringing in humidity from the Mediterranean. The part of Terra Alta is so prone to these two winds that in addition to growing grapes, the area is famous for windmills which generate much of the region’s electricity. At elevations ranging between 390 and 480 meters above sea level, the vineyards of Herència-Altés benefit from a higher elevation the most of the rest of the DO. This allows for full maturation of the grapes a lower alcohol levels and with higher acidities.
La Serra is a sparsely planted vineyard of head-pruned vines of Carinyena and Garnatxa Negra planted around the turn of the last century. Adjacent to Benufet, La Serra shares a similar terroir – sandy limestone soil, locally known as Pañal. Over time, as vines have died, they have been replanted but only the oldest vine fruit from La Serra is used for this cuvée of Carinyena and Garnatxa Negra.
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