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What our expert thought of Marañones, 30,000 Maravedíes




the tasting

The Tasting


Being mostly Garnacha, this isn’t a very deep colour; it’s a light cherry with violet hints.  Whole-bunch fermentation also has a tendency to produce lighter-coloured wine.
 
The colour may be light, but this has a heavenly perfumed nose filled with blue flowers and red fruits: strawberry, cherry and bramble.  It’s spicy and herby too, with tobacco and lavender, and there’s a lively note of orange peel.  The nose has great purity and no discernable oak influence.
 
Fully dry and surprisingly fresh, the medium-bodied palate is incredibly light for a wine at 14.5%, but is loaded with deep red-fruit flavours of pomegranate and cherry.  There’s a medicinal, tobacco-ey edge, and a spiciness that’s mostly from alcohol.  A superbly linear acidity stays at the same level from beginning to end, holding everything together.
 
There’s a hint of earthy blackcurrant on the spicy and saline finish, which is dry but not drying.  The acidity is nicely balanced by quite firm tannins, which are nevertheless sufficiently fine that it takes a while to notice them.  The finish ends on some alcoholic warmth (though rather less than expected) and a lingering medicinal, herbal note.


Assessment


This is a very unusual Garnacha.  It’s so clean, with not a hint of jam or dried fruit; and so fresh, with that marvellous driving acidity.  Some of that must be the contribution of the Morate, a grape whose low alcohol and high acidity makes it practically the opposite of Garnacha and thus an eminently sensible blending partner.  Despite the absence of oak this still manages to be quite Spanish in its earthy and medicinal aspects, and that distinctive salty finish is apparently a feature of Garnacha from the Gredos.  (In which case, I must find some more to try!)
 
But the wine this most resembles isn’t Spanish at all: it’s French.  If you served me this blind and told ne it was a fine red burgundy ‐ say, a Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru ‐ I’d believe you.  (But not a new world Pinot Noir, which would be softer and sweeter.)  As such, this wine is a steal.  That aristocratic burgundy from the same vintage would cost three times as much and you’d need to age it for five years; this upstart Spaniard is ready to drink right now.



Tasting notes

Appearance
medium- ruby, clear at the rim
Nose

Intensity medium+, perfumed & fine

Aromas floral (blue flowers), red fruit (strawberry, cherry, raspberry?), citrus (orange peel), black fruit (bramble), herbs (tobacco, lavender), spice

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness very dry

Acidity medium+(+?), very linear

Body medium, despite 14.5%

Tannins medium+, firm but fine-grained

Intensity medium+

Flavours deep-flavoured red fruits (pomegranate, cherry), herbs (medicinal, tobacco), spice (alcohol), earth
Finish

Length medium(+?)

Flavours as palate, blackcurrant, earth, dry but not drying, ends on alcohol warmth (less than expected) and medicinal herbs
Other notes
No reduction. Fab nose, pure & unoaked. Plenty of personality but sensuous & fine despite tannins: reminiscent of 1er Cru burgundy. Beware fine sediment!


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