Featured Red Wine for December – 2015 Bodegas Jimenez-Landi PiélagoPublished on December 22, 2020
Grenache is a red-wine grape grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. It is most commonly found alongside Syrah and Mourvedre in the classic Cotes du Rhone blends and is dubbed ‘the Pinot Noir of the south’. It is low in tannins but high in alcohol – often reaching above 14% abv. In Spain however, this grape has a different feel and here, it is known as Garnacha.
The best Garnacha is found in Sierra de Gredos, the arid mountains west of Madrid in central Spain. This is hallowed territory for fine, old bush-vine Garnacha. Here, ambitious new-wave Spanish winemakers are restoring Gredos’ old Garnacha vineyards on slate-granite slopes. Up until recently, the region produced tough, alcoholic wines used mainly for beefing up Rioja. This is changing fast and small family-run bodegas such as Bodegas Jimenez-Landi are producing wonderfully pure Garnacha from their wild and craggy, granite mountain vineyards. The Spanish denomination of origin (DO) system is recognising this but still playing catch up and you may see Gredos wines labelled with the classification of Méntrida, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Léon or Cebreros.
The Winecroft featured red wine for December is the 2015 Bodegas Jimenez-Landi Piélago, a delicious old-vine Garnacha from the village of El Real de San Vicente in the heart of Sierra de Gredos. Piélago is a top-quality Vinos de Pueblo (village wine) bearing the name of the granite mountain that looms over the vineyards. This is a delicate, fragrant Garnacha fermented with whole bunches. Wild strawberry and rose petal aromas, vibrant acidity and chalky notes on the palate. Loads of character.
It is certainly a favourite at Winecroft. But we are not alone – it is also a favourite on the wine list at West London’s two Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth (currently closed, unfortunately!).