Los Corrales de Moncalvillo is a special project by Bodegas Corral winemaker, Carlos Rubio Villanúa, aimed at reconnecting with the origins, territory and traditions of the winery, based on the Camino de Santiago in the town of Navarrete, La Rioja. The Maturana Tinta de Navarrete is the first of these wines, the result of a recovery programme for this rare grape, native to Navarette, deemed lost prior to DNA analysis in 1990. (More on the fascinating history here.)
It gets 12 months in French oak barrels and is so big it almost snarls at you as you release it from the bottle. Thick, black and opaque until you swirl it, it glows dark indigo from heavy, oil slick tears that slink down the glass. The nose is a symphony of dried black fruits, dark chocolate, wood smoke, tar and black pepper, evolving constantly as you leave the wine snarl some more. Then you drink, a rich, heavy elixir of ripe blackcurrant and warm plum pudding, laced with cassis liqueur and cocoa powder tannins, savoury, earthy notes of toasted nuts, tobacco leaf, nutmeg, fresh herbs, vanilla and pepper all showing on a finish that goes on for miles.
For sheer bang for buck it’s my wine of the year, but in its own right this is a truly special wine that should be experienced by all. [Mike]
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