Envinaté, Albahara Tinto, Castilla-La Mancha
Envinaté, Albahara Tinto, Castilla-La Mancha

Envinaté, Albahara Tinto, Castilla-La Mancha

Castilla-La Mancha, Spain 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$38.00
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Envinaté, Albahara Tinto, Castilla-La Mancha

In a little over a decade Envínate has risen like a rocket to the top tier of avant-garde Spanish winemaking. Founded by four college buddies who met in oenology school, the unifying goal is naturally made wines that reflect the diversity of Spain’s terroirs. “Albahra” is their calling card, a high elevation, Garnacha dominant blend that showcases Envínate’s devotion to wines of unbridled energy, natural elegance, and pure, exuberant fruit. It is a distinctly Southern Spanish celebration of Mediterranean sun and sky that feels familiar and also a bit wild, in a wonderful way. “Albahra” is a refreshing reminder that Spain cannot, and should not, be taken for granted when it comes to producing exciting, out-of-the-box wines that can provide endless joy and delight.

The Castilla-La Mancha wine region covers a broad swath of territory south and east of Madrid. This area, also referred to as the meseta central (“central plateau”), is not only the largest wine region in Spain but in all of Europe. “Albahra” (Castilian for “small sea”) is named for the vineyard area in the Almansa region close to the town of Albacete, located at the southeastern tip of Castilla-La Mancha. Soils are sandy clays with some limestone, and the climate is Mediterranean.

Envínate (“wine yourself”) is a brand created by Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente, four friends who met while studying viticulture at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante, Spain. Their work, both in the vineyard and winery, is focused on exploring ancient vineyards of Atlantic-influenced regions such as Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands, although they have also added choice vineyard plots from elsewhere in Spain (as in this case).

The hand-harvested grapes were fermented by parcel, using only ambient yeasts. Between 30% and 70% of the whole bunches are used, and maceration averages around 10 days before pressing with a pneumatic press. Fermentation completes in a mix of used barrels and concrete tanks, and the wine rests on its lees for 8 months. The wine was bottled without fining or filtering, and with only a very small addition of sulfur. 

A deep, garnet red hue in the glass with touches of youthful pink at the rim, the “Albahra” opens with a broad array of aromatics: Black cherries, wild raspberries, blood orange zest, fennel, cinnamon stick, star anise, red pepper, tobacco leaf, and forest floor. The palate is medium and silky, with loads of exuberant fruit surrounding a core of earthy minerals, soft tannin, and snappy acidity. This would be killer with a sausage pizza!

Envinaté, Albahara Tinto, Castilla-La Mancha

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