Old Vines and History on the Canary Islands: 2013 Envinate Taganan Tinto

Posted by Joe Salamone

Old Vines and History on the Canary Islands
2013 Envínate Táganan Tinto

It took some time, but Roberto Santana and his partners in Envinate found a section of the Canaries trapped in time.

Roberto Santana is a native of the island of Tenerife. After years of talking to people on the island, he found what he feels is the last truly old-fashioned vineyard in the Canary Islands.

These are absolutely striking vineyards. They're ungrafted vines aged between 50-200 years old, perched on cliffs close to the Atlantic Ocean. The soil is hard volcanic rock. These are old school mixed plantings - there are so many heirloom varietals that no one knows what all the grapes are.

This small plot represents a step back in time, one that is vanishing.

Taganan Harvesters

Readers of our emails are probably well aware that with the exception of traditional Rioja, Sherry and Vega Sicilia, we don't feature a lot of Spanish wine. However, as I'm sure is becoming clear Envínate's Táganan is something special. Beyond the story of the vineyard, the results are some of the most soulful and fascinating wines you'll taste this year.

It's impossible not to mention the value. You're unlikely to find anything that comes close to this level of distinctiveness and fascination at this price point. The caliber of winemaking and the uniqueness of the terroir are both very intense and it shows.

Everything here follows old fashioned (and often costly) methods. The grapes are hand harvested and foot trodden. Whole clusters, native yeasts and open-top fermenters are used. Later the wines age in neutral barrels.

The 2013 Táganan Tinto delivers a striking freshness and floral lift. It's backed up by a smoky, saline, pulverized minerality along with dark fruits and spice. It's hard to write anything that even comes close to capturing how evocative and gripping this wine is in its soil expression.

Envínate is composed of Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez. They met in enology school and the Envínate project grew out of a consulting business. They are producing wines from Canary Islands, Galicia and Extremadura. The wines have garnered wildly positively reviews from people like Jancis Robinson and The Wine Advocate's Luis Gutierrez. On Envínate, Gutierrez writes: "Really exciting wines, full of personality... A name to follow."

As I mentioned earlier, it's exceedingly rare to be able to offer a wine with this level of complexity and intrigue for a price like this. This is a bottle that shocks people when they taste it. This is something not to be missed.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2013 Envínate Táganan Tinto