Fine Wine Source Wine
Bodegas Navalon is surrounded by the ancient vineyards of DO Valdepeñas in the heart of Spain. The bodega has been the passion of the same local family for several generations. It was originally founded at the start of the 20th Century by Don Juan Sánchez, a landowner who decided to build a winery to make his own wine, rather than selling his grapes to others. Valdepeñas means Valley of Rocks, referring to the special soil, strewn with pebbles and larger stones. These stones soak up the sun’s rays during the day, and then release their heat during the night. Deep underground, layers of chalk and clay retain water which is vital for refreshing the vines during the intense summer heat. At an average altitude of 705m above sea level, the vineyards benefit from a dry continental climate with over 2,500 hours of sun and low rainfall, resulting in an ideal microclimate for growing vines. The Anciano wines are crafted with individual care and attention, each expression in their range shows its own intriguing and unique character. From their bright, vibrant Crianza to their smooth, mature Gran Reservas, their award-winning range showcases the best of Spanish winemaking.
Garnacha, Spain’s other classic red varietal, is now offered alongside the Tempranillo wines that have made Anciano a favorite around the world. Norrel Robertson MW has selected this stunning wine from Valencia, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Terres dels Alforins is a fertile valley in the south west of the province of Valencia and is called the “Valencian Tuscany”: the valley is comprised of a multitude of small plots between the sea and the “meseta” where vines have been tended since Roman times. The vines are located within mostly non-irrigated vineyards with low yields. Anciano’s winery La Vina is the venue where winemaker Jorge Caus Pertegaz crafts this stunning Garnacha. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks for 7 days at 22 degrees Celsius, and then a portion of the wine is matured in oak barrels for 7 months.
- Color: Bright and intensely vibrant red.
- Nose: Generous fruit aromas of cherry and black berries.
- Palate: Smooth and soft with red currant and black berry flavors produces a long and supple finish with a touch of sweet spice.
Sensational with slow cooked pork or lamb and other meats from the grill. Anciano Garnacha can be matched with moderately spiced meals, such as Moroccan tagines (Look this one up!) or excellent with hearty vegetarian dishes and mature cheeses.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Spicy grip on the palate with flavors of cedar, pork, and ripe raspberries. Best enjoyed with BBQ dishes and spiced vegetables!
Fine Wine Source Wine
Floating Rock (Hyatt Vineyards):
Hyatt Vineyards was established by Leland and Lynda Hyatt in 1983. Evolving from a modest Estate vineyard surrounding the Winery, Hyatt Vineyards has grown to 180 acres in four separate sites all within 3 miles of the original plantings. Each of the four different vineyards: Cherry Hill, Three Rocks, Roza Ridge, and the original Estate Vineyard display significantly distinct soils, elevation and exposure. Varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling, Black Muscat and Zinfandel. From the Winery’s first release in 1987, awards, medals and very favorable press have followed consistently year after year.
The wines produced by Hyatt were essentially 15,000 years in the making! It started with the Missoula Flood during the last ice age when an ice dam broke in Western Montana and created cataclysmic floods that flowed west into the eastern part of Washington and redeposited fertile soils as well as granite boulders and rocks. When the first vineyard was cleared many years ago, it was full of those boulders as well as massive amounts of rocks and was a huge undertaking. Thanks to those massive ice-age floods, today the vineyards consist of rich, light loam soil (with a few of those pesky rocks scattered about) providing the perfect structure for quality grapes. “I had the pleasure of speaking with Hyatt’s winemaker, Marty Johnson, about the vineyards and the direction the winery is headed. The fruit sourced from Rattlesnake Hills is also used to produce their Estate Wine, Roza Ridge, sold exclusively at the winery (for a higher price point!). Marty joined the Hyatt Team in 2016 and this particular vintage was produced by Steve Hovanes, who is no longer with Hyatt. Fortunately, Floating Rock is continuing as a brand; however, more fruit is being allocated to the Roza Ridge lineup. There is currently no designated Michigan distributor for Floating Rock, but I plan on keeping in touch with Marty to see how that progresses. We have acquired the remaining inventory of the 2013 Floating Rocks wines, and don’t sleep on these…they won’t last long! You are already familiar with how delicious the Syrah is, the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Red Blend are just as fine…Stock up while supplies last!!!”
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot Aged 18 Months in American Oak
Fruit aromas of tart cherries and strawberries lead into a palate of red fruit mostly pie cherries and tones of light vanilla. Bracing tannins hold up well to red meats and creamy cheeses. The wine departs with a subtle floral finish.
Paired with braised red meats with complex reductions, this wine enhances the many flavors of haute cuisine. But it is also quite comfortable alongside a tray of charcuterie and pungent cheeses or grilled meats.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Ripe, rich and loaded with complexity. Great mouth feel and a long lingering finish. Enjoy with juicy red meats!