Bodega Bernabeleva Camino De Navaherreros
About The Wine:
This is as elegant an example of Garnacha (aka, Grenache) as you are likely to find. Catalan winemaker Marc Isart Pinos is taking old vines, applying excellent viticultural work, fermenting in foudre (with some whole clusters used, as well as long maceration on the skins for further complexity/elegance), and bottling with a minimum of sulphur to create this beautiful, expressive wine. A good bit more tangy, racy, and serious than most grenache at this price, the Camino de Navaherreros is sure to please those who prefer layered nuance and energetic flavors
About Bodega Bernabeleva:
With a modern highway nearing completion, San Martin de Valdeiglesias lies a mere 75 minutes from Madrid and its three million inhabitants. Yet, the journey feels much longer, both in distance and in time. As one drives west from the capital city, the terrain quickly becomes rugged and mountainous, the air cooler, and one begins to see signs of an earlier era. Here, on the eastern edge of Spain’s Sierra de Gredos mountains, a renowned Madrid doctor named Vincente Alvares-Villamil purchased land in 1923. The site, which at the time was a full day’s travel from Madrid, spoke of its Celtic past, with ancient bears carved from boulders to mark forests dedicated to hunt goddess. But the estate, which Vincente named Bernabeleva (“the bear’s forest”), held more than just an ancient history – it was, he believed, a special place to plant the noble Garnacha (Grenache) – a place whose wines might exhibit profound character. But the next decade brought increased political instability to Spain, and the Civil War that erupted in 1936 devastated the country. Though the family held onto the land, Vincente’s dream of making wine ended… for the time being.
In 2006, two of Vincente’s great-grandchildren, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana Bulnes, vowed to fulfill their ancestor’s dream. The estate’s vineyards were now 80 years old, and there were Granacha vineyards to purchase from neighboring properties as well. Rejecting current fashions in Spanish wine, the cousins resolved to make wines of purity and expressiveness that were in harmony with the beauty fo their ancestral land.
Juan and Santiago’s ambitions were well supported by the terroir. The vineyards are more than a half mile above sea level, with warm days but cool nights, and with poor, sandy soils. The resulting wiens have ample ripeness, but also astounding bouyancy and freshness. The cousins wanted, above all, to protect the unique personality of their estate, and they hired consultant Raul Perez, a master of cool climate winemaking, to help them develop the project. Just as important, they hired as full time manager a young Catalan named Marc Isart Pinos. Marc’s devotion to demanding viticulture and to non-interventionist winemaking have served the cousins vision well.