Tasting notes: Made from old vine (over 40 years of age), high altitude (2800 feet) Grenache, this head-pruned vineyard planted on granite soils has produced an unbelievable wine for the price. Lots of kirsch, strawberry, black currant and licorice aromas jump from the glass of this medium-bodied, richly fruity, surprisingly intense red. Notes by Robert M. Parker, Jr.
If you love wines of tension that exhibit purity and finesse, you will find Zestos old Vine Garnacha to be your new love. Zestos shows the complexity of a wine three times its price. In the words of Robert M. Parker, Jr, the most influential wine critic in the world, Zestos is “A staggering value”, he also claims that Zestos is “an unbelievable wine for the price”.
Zestos old vine is produced from Garnacha vines that were planted in 1969 in The high elevation vineyards of San Martin Valdeiglesias – northwest of Madrid. Today San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. The older the vines the better the wine. Old vines do not over produced. As a result the vines yield fully ripen grapes. Perfectly ripen grapes make wines that improve with time. ‘Zestos’ means ‘basket’ in English. Not too many years ago, baskets like the ones depicted on the label were use to transport grapes from the vineyard to the wineries. Madrid has recently become the center of one of the most interesting and innovative wine regions on the Iberian Peninsula. For example, 90% of Vinos de Madrid DO wines are made from organically grown grapes. The outskirts of this storied royal city are filled with old vines Garnacha situated in high elevation vineyards that have been planted in ideal soils. Madrid is a sort of “great unknown” that is now just freshly discovered. Most consumers are unaware that Madrid makes wine and because Vinos de Madrid is not yet “on the radar” of wine consumers, it is a great source of incredible values today.
What makes this wine unique? This tremendous quality wine is made from old vine Garnacha and it sells for a song! San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. Zestos shows the complexity of wine 2 times its price. in fact many wines that cost 3 times the price of Zestos do not even show the complexity of this humble yet complex wine.
Grape: 100% Garnacha grapes come from 40-50 year-old vines in the high-elevation district of San Martin de Valdeiglesias at 870 meters (2,850 ft.) elevation. All the vines are head pruned in the traditional manner.
Pairing Suggestions: Zestos has such a pleasing aspect and texture and such fresh, succulent red and dark berry aromas and fruit; it’s a perfect introduction to Spanish wine. Put it next to any casual foods you care to: pizza, Panini sandwiches, pulled pork sliders, fajitas, cheese quesadillas, and pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. This is an “easy quaffer” wine, as well. If you don’t have any aged manchego or aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese handy, just pour some in your glass and enjoy!
Vinification and ageing: Vinified in stainless steel and cement tanks of 10,000-liter capacity. Garnachas in San martin are ussually harvested during mid October. Pre-fermentation maceration and fermentation takes 5 days, followed by a longer post maceration period of 10 days. The wine is aged in cement and stainless steel tanks to emphasize the purity of flavor and the youthful, fresh character of the Garnacha grape.
Location, Soil, Climate: The vineyards are located in Zone 7, in the high elevation district of San Martin de Valdeiglesias at 645 meters (2,116 ft.) elevation. The granite and sandy soil in this area is responsible for the mineral characters expressed in Zestos. For climate, the area’s high elevation of 870 meters makes it the most extreme climate in the region. The risk of frost during early budding and flowering is very high. However, when the risk of frost is low, San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. The average temperature from April-October is 17.9°C (64.2°F) and yearly rainfall is 574mm (22.6 in).