2021 Legado Del Moncayo Garnacha
Legado Del Moncayo
Campo de Borja, Spain
From bush-vines around 25 years' age, hand-picked then fermented simply in stainless steel, and bottled directly from these vats to emphasise freshness and delicacy. They yield a classical red cherry and spice Garnacha with earthiness and bright natural acid clearing any lick of cloying ripeness. The fruit grows at around 600 metres altitude, on gravelly chalky loam.
A vivid purple-tinged ruby. Medium-bodied, rich and floral cherry fruit is cut with licorice, spice crushed rock and Mediterranean herbs. It is rich and ripe but has great freshening acid and no cloy. Silkily textured tannin is beautifully sweet, structuring the mouth perfectly.
Campo de Borja (which grandly calls itself ‘The Empire of Garnacha’), is a DO of 5,000 hectares in Zaragoza province, between Navarra and Catalayud. Soria, the eastern end of Ribera del Duero, is 100km due west. Most of the DO inhabits the broad, delta-like flood plains of Rio Ebro, after it departs Rioja for Priorat and the Mediterranean. The climate is extremely dry Continental: it's hot (except when terrifyingly cold). It's dry. It's windy. Rainfall is a paltry 350mm (up to 450mm of rain in the hills), with grapes grow between 350 and 750 metres altitude. The soils are a mix of limestone sand, large calcareous stones and ferrous clay. Production here dates back to 1145. Within the DO are 3 zones (determined by altitude) covering 16 municipalites, with one part above the flood plains, the slopes of Moncayo, having a special micro-climate: altitude and the volcanic influence in the soils under the now-extinct Moncayo volcano. On the flanks of Moncayo, rich, stony clay soils nurture Garnachas that survive a battering by fierce cold, dry winds (especially the cold, dry Atlantic ‘Cierzo’ in winter) as only Garnacha can. Legado de Moncayo (legacy of Moncayo) is a project based in the south of Campo de Borja (just south of Borja itself) in Ainzon, below the Ebro and 45 minutes north-west of the regional centre, Zaragoza. Younger vine Garnacha Negra and Garnacha Blanca is planted at 550-600m, with older vines up to 750m. Most are goblet-trained bush vines.