Garnacha on the Mountain: 2017 Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Tinto Vinos de Madrid

Posted by Joe Salamone

This is an expression of the Grenache grape that greatly expands the idea of what the grape is capable of.

Here you have Grenache that is gulpable, silken and energetic.

Along with the Canary Islands and regions in Spain's northwest (Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, etc.), Vinos de Madrid is quickly becoming one of Spain’s most exciting wine regions.

Tasting the Camino de Navaherreros really highlights why this area has captured so many people's attention.

Just 45 miles west of Madrid you’ll find the small village of San Martin de Valdeiglesias within the Vinos de Madrid D.O. The region’s unique vineyards lie at the base of the Gredos Mountains at an elevation of 600-830m on sandy granite and slate soils. Here Grenache assumes an electric spine and a pointed, stony minerality.

Along with producers like Comando G, Bernabeleva is reviving this once overlooked and ancient region. Most importantly, they are reminding us of Grenache's capacity for elegance, finesse and subtlety.

Bernabeleva's old vine holdings and high-altitude vineyards yield extraordinary results. The 2017 Navaherreros Tinto is beautifully finessed and simply compelling. This bottling includes grapes from several of Bernabeleva’s vineyards and it beautifully captures the essence of the region. It’s intensely aromatic, lively and fresh. The layered dark fruits are complemented by a stony mineral character, but what I like most is the distinct sense of precision and balance.

The texture and clarity of Navaherreros brings to mind producers like Foillard. It's difficult not to be amazed by the wine's purity, charm, and sheer gulpability. For what remains of summer, feel free to put a slight chill on it.

Back in 1923, Vincente Alvarez-Villamil purchased the Bernabeleva vineyards with the dream of making his own wine. Those dreams were put on hold when civil war broke out, but in 2006, Vincente’s great grandchildren, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana Bulnes, finally saw his dream to fruition. With each passing vintage, the wines get finer and more detailed. They've been key to breathing life into this impressive terroir that has historically produced bulk wine for the thirsty capital nearby.

In terms of price, joyful drinking and eye-opening quality, this is one of our favorite recent finds. I strongly suggest that you take advantage of the 6-pack price. You'll want to have this around in quantity.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
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