Top 10 Spanish regions to watch18th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Interesting developments are underway with old vine Garnacha in the centre of Spain, spearheaded by Madrid and Méntrida. Late to the DO party in 1990, Vinos de Madrid is divided into three sub-zones: Arganda – the largest of the three, accounting for 50% of vineyard plantings; Navalcarnero, which makes up 35% of plantings; and San Martín, accounting for the final 15%.
Soil in the Madrid DO is largely formed of clay and limestone over granite. Best known for its lightly perfumed, early-ripening white variety Albillo, old vine Garnacha from San Martín has recently been turning heads.
Fernando García of Bodegas Marañones is leading the Garnacha revival, along with Daniel Jiménez-Landi from Méntrida’s Bodegas Jiménez-Landi. Together with Bobal king Juan Antonio Ponce of Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce in Manchuela, they form the “Chicos de Terruar” – a forward-thinking collective of soil-obsessed terroirists.
Inspired by their idols Château Rayas in the Rhône, García and Jiménez-Landi are making tiny yields of pure, red-fruited, old vine Garnacha. García is also showing Albillo some love in Madrid with Picarana, made from old vine Albillo grown in four organically farmed parcels in San Martin, which, according to Jancis Robinson MW, shares the “weight, complexity and finesse” of a good white Châteauneuf-du-Pape.