I have to confess: I am kinda afraid of what I am about to do right now! The facing of personal fears, in particular the specific fear towards certain grape varieties, is one of the most challenging deeds a wine geek can tackle ;-). I’ve got several fearsome inhibitions! I am scared of off-dry Pinot Noirs, those excessively rubber-mawkish Gamay based wines, too traditional appearing Dolcetti and (unfortunately) of rich as well as bluntly expressive Gewürztraminers. For sure, there might be other wine oriented aversions. For a start this is already quite a lot, I suppose. However, not enough! There is another big 100% grape anxiety of mine: Grenache or Garnacha (or especially Cannonau)! I know a lot of people like wines made from this grape. I like them, too! However, only as a partner in a red coalition! In general, pure Grenache is a far too fruitful challenge for my palate! Normally! Not today! Today I will face Grenache - or better put, Garnacha - without a trace of fear or prejudice! Huzzah ...
Comando (G)arnacha is a project staged by three friendly oenologists named Fernando Garcia, Daniel G. Jiménez Landi und Marc Isart. Since 2010 those three produce several 100% Garnacha wines from hoary vines in Madrid D.O. All vines are biodynamically cultivated on mostly granite soil in very elevated (up to 950 m) and isolated vineyards (approx. 3 hectears) in Cadalso de los Vidrios area of Madrid. Comando G’s Bruja Avería 2012 is the entry level Garnacha of their portfolio. Others Garnachas from single vineyards like La Mujer Cañón or Rumbo al Norte summit in concentration, quality and most definitely in price. I hade the opportunitiy to try all of them. Today, I guess I will be quite satisfied with the following one …
3:56 pm (popped and poured)
Colour: red-violet, not too tinted, transparency quite fine, the flawless hue goes straight from core to rim
Nose: quite a lot of obtrusive country air inclusive plenty of cowshed perfume, fresh cut thyme, some emerging liquorice and tons of very clear, ripe and cool appearing fruit fragrances of bramble, blueberry and extra kitsch’y figs. Besides that there is a certain undercurrent of mineral-detergent’istic scents which I cannot really disclose. So far a rather balanced and still a bit reserved nose which is far away from any superimposed fruit-smarmy attributes.
Taste: totally Garnacha in a mostly positive sense; very cool and fresh characteristics; the chewing-gum fruit component isn’t that excessive (luckily) and still in balance, however far more present than the nose predicted; the lean fruit impact is dominated by bramble, blueberries and perhaps some cranberries, the fig is far less evolved and present; thyme, a hint of iodine and some firm liquorice are far less dominant on the palate; the already mentioned obtrusive touch of country air is missing completely; pressure and length of the finish seems fine and pretty immediate; the tannins are splendidly chewable at the moment and the acid is surprisingly invigorating; alcohol seems to be very well integrated, too. So far a very clear, precise, lean, cool, of course very fruitful and totally typical Garnacha without a lot of anxiety triggering potential.
Right now a joint "analysis" is absolutely sufficient. Why? Well I think this one isn’t super suitable for a “Happening Now Tasting”. It is "narcotically" stable on a relatively decent level without being dull. Actually - no real change at all. Well, at the moment the nasal cowshed alleviated to a prosperous and well balanced countryside impression and the taste of bramble flavours might show a little infusion of raspberry. I guess the latter one is pure imagination caused by aromatical gridlock and certainly insufficient palatal abilities on my behalf.
Still no substantial change! Apart of its overall stuck character I might be under the impression that the Bruja Avería 2012 is getting a bit more serious and less fruit driven and more self-contained. However, this evo is rather quiet and supposedly highly imaginary. Perhaps it is really getting a bit’y dull right now.
Let’s see how this will evolve! More input later or more likely tomorrow! … Hell, I just opened another 100% Garnacha. This one is from Rioja (!?!). It is coated with plenty of oak. Totally different style! I am sure this one needs time to adjust to my palate. Not sure this will ever be accomplished …
3:25 pm (on the next day)
Today the Bruja Avería 2012 appears far more creamy and caramel'y than yesterday. Actually then there wasn’t a trace of creaminess or caramel at all. Besides this evo it seems to show a little bit more of superimposed, pretty unnerving and rather sweet Garnacha fruit (including some kiddy cough syrup spice). Overall more round, perhaps a bit ponderous, and less fresh / vital than yesterday. Not the best of all possible turns over night, I suppose …
Anyway, due to its first day preciseness, coolness and freshness - for me a downright decent **** Garnacha from Madrid. It wasn’t inspirational, highly complex, challenging or intoxicating – but it definitely was nice easy drinking without too many of those typical fearsome (just for me, of course) Garnacha issues.
By the way, the evo of my second 100 % Garnacha wine, which I have opened a few hours later, wasn’t that pleasing for me at all! Unfortunately this one had and has plenty of oak, extreme fruit of dark berries, excessive sweetness in combination with a buttload of alcohol and a surprisingly clumsy-sleepy (pretty tried) structure. Pity - absolutely nothing for my palate … this one was a Palacios Remondo Propiedad from 2010.I think I like La Montesa from Palacios Remondo much more!