A pure Garnacha from 140-year-old pre-phylloxera vines, this single vineyard wine from Zorzal really punches above their weight. The Señora de las Alturas gives a powerful and elegant expression to this variety. The nose is perfumed with juicy red fruit and spice, subtly hinting at the stony minerality highlighted on the palate. This earthiness is balanced by concentrate berry fruit, fine chalky tannins and a long savoury finish.
The single-vineyard 2019 Señora de Las Alturas comes from an ancient plot on the gravel and silt soils on the banks of the Alhama River they call Pontigos. They only work with healthy grapes, and this comes from the first vintage that they considered to be an exceptional year of moderate yields and low pHs. This pure Garnacha was picked at 14.1% alcohol, and the bottled wine has a pH of 3.39 with six grams of acidity (tartaric). It fermented in open 1,000-liter pools followed by malolactic and in two used 500-liter French oak barrels for 15 months. It has an impactful nose combining notes of violets and ripe cherries, a little deeper than other cuvées from the same zone, nuanced, with a little more ripeness, very complete and complex. It has also developed nice complexity for its young age. The palate has the depth and complexity of the old vines, with super fine, chalky tannins and great balance. It really transcends the price.
Navarra is much less well known than neighbouring Rioja, but they are both rich in the Grenache and Graciano grapes, and wines can have similar characters. The Sanz brothers - Iñaki, Xabi and Mikel - started working with their father in 2007. They work with mainly higher altitude plots and are carefully nurturing the older bush vines that grow there.
With the brothers onboard the project took a new direction, focusing on the terroir and old vines around Fitero, on the edge of the Ebro River valley at the base of the Iberian mountains. They are mapping their vineyards by soil type so they can make a Burgundy-style classification of their Garnacha wines.
These bright, juicy reds and pure, textured whites are full of character and show the potential of this often-overlooked area. Luis Gutiérrez describes Zorzal as: "one of the most dynamic producers not only in Navarra but in the whole of Spain!"