2016 was the first vintage of 'Cruz Santa' from Suertes del Marques, a perfumed, elegant red made from the Vijariego Negro grape (also known as Sumoll on mainland Spain). Light in alcohol, it has a spicy nose, fine minerality and a faint smokiness. This vintage was made with input from Portuguese winemaking powerhouse Luis Seabra, who previously made wines for Dirk Niepoort. A rare opportunity to enjoy a beautifully aged example of Tenerife's finest.'...It's vibrant and with a long, tasty finish with great freshness.' - Luis Gutiérrez
The new kid on the block is a red Vijariego Negro varietal labeled 2016 Cruz Santa, where they wanted to see how the grape behaved with less ripeness and full clusters. The grapes were sourced from a 20-year-old vineyard in the Suertes zone of Santa Cruz, and they were fermented in open bins with indigenous yeasts. It aged in used 500-liter oak casks for 11 months. It has the very spicy and perfumed nose of the grape, with a light color and an elegant, insinuating personality. There's not a lot of the variety in Tenerife, but I think it's a grape that works very well in these volcanic soils. It has a light to medium body and very fine tannins. It's vibrant and with a long, tasty finish with great freshness. 600 bottles were filled in October 2017 at 12% alcohol. Volumes can grow a little, but for now the rest of the grapes go to El Lance. But they have planted some more....
Tenerife has a long and fascinating winemaking history, indigenous varieties such as Listan Negro, Tintilla and Baboso Negro, can be found growing on 100-year-old vines. Many of these older vines are trained in unique braided cordons known locally as cordon trenzado.
Suertes source their grapes from the Orotova Valley, on the cooler north side of the island, which features volcanic clay soils and steep slopes of the Pico del Teide volcano. The estate has some incredibly old, low-yielding vines and produces wines that have freshness, balance, purity of fruit, minerality and an authentic terroir character.