Grape(s): 95% Garnacha, 5% Moristel, Miguel de Arco and Provechón (Bobal)
Localization: Calatayud, Spain
Tasting Notes: The remarkable soils produce fine and elegant Garnacha which is punctuated by intense black fruit flavors with complex minerals, smoke, and garrigue notes.
Notes: Grapes stored between 0 and 1 º C in a cool room then crushed to an open cement tank. No wholes bunches were included to obtain greater fruit purity and a juicier texture and to reduce possible harder tannins from the Moristel. Cold soaked for around 5 days until spontaneous fermentation took place. Hand plunging twice a day followed by extended maceration on skins with malolactic fermentation. Aging on fine lees in flex tank eggs for 15 months before a light earth filtration and bottling.
Soil type: Pizarra slate and quartzite soils
“ES LO QUE HAY - it is what it is. A common Spanish expression, but one I like to reserve for the few old high altitude Garnacha vineyards that survive in Aragon . What you taste in the bottle is a true expression of what there is in the vineyard. It´s as simple as that.”
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The red 2018 Es Lo Que Hay, comes from a vintage Norrel Robertson describes as "one of the standout years in our 17 years producing Garnacha." This is mostly Garnacha, with just 5% other grapes, as it comes exclusively from two old vineyards in the village of Villarroya de la Sierra, and such vineyards always have a small proportion of other grapes, mostly Moristel with a little Miguel de Arco and some Provechón (Bobal). All the varieties fermented together destemmed after a five-day cold soak with the natural yeasts and then matured in Flextank egg for 15 months. This is softer, with more clay and limestone influence rather than the slate soils from the vineyards used in the past for the cuvée. This has more depth and complexity, perhaps from the other grape varieties that complement the Garnacha, and probably has a little more acidity and tannin. It has tension, minerality and good acidity, probably from the Moristel, which tends to ripen a little later than the Garnacha. Tasty. Again, not a shy wine at 15% alcohol but nicely balanced. 3,966 bottles were filled in March 2020.- Luis Gutiérrez"
The Domain: Norrel Robertson is “the flying Scotsman”, a Master of Wine and flying winemaker who in 2003 chose Calatayud as his place of residence to be able to attend his work as a winemaker in Spain and the south of France, and ended up setting up his own project focused on Grenache. He considers that in no other country like Spain there is such a richness and diversity of Grenache and those of the area of Aragon in which he works offer an infinite set of soils, altitudes, and orientations.
In elaboration, he works a lot with cement and is progressively reducing the participation of the barrel in most of his wines, defends the destemming in the Grenache, the soft extractions generally with punching (“we want color and flavor but not hard tannins”) and the work with lees.
El Escocés Volante has 13 hectares of old Grenache vines between 45 and 110 years old located in the surroundings of the municipality of Villarroya de la Sierra, to which seven hectares of new plantations are added and that are on the way to achieving organic certification. Many of these vineyards are at the base of his new line of parcel wines that he often continues to baptize with popular names or traditional Spanish expressions.
From Manda Huevos, which also refers to the egg-shaped polyethylene containers in which it is made, there is a white version (Macabeo aged 40-45 years) and another ink (two Garnacha plots from 1908 and 1970). Around € 18, about 3,000 bottles are made of the first and around 6,000 bottles of the second. Los Narros will arrive in the future, from a plot located 900 meters away, also raised in polyethylene eggs. All these wines will be marketed outside the DO, as well as En sus Trece, another Grenache whose first vintage is 2013 and in which it mixes several plots of slate soils (about 10,000 bottles, around € 20) and the particularly fragrant El Tripe (€ 19.5) that mixes four plots of old vines with some varieties mixed with Grenache plus a fifth of Syrah.
Outside Calatayud, Robertson also produces the Albariño and Godello whites The Cup & Rings in Rías Baixas and Monterrei respectively, a white version of La Multa in Rueda, the 3,000 Years red in Bullas and announces a new project with Monastrell and Garnacha tintorera de old vines in Valencia. Its wines can be found in 20 countries.