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2010 El Terroir, Domaines Lupier, San Martín de Unx, Navarra
Scores and Reviews
Enrique Basarte and Elisa Ucar, the dynamic team behind Domaines Lupier, have nurtured their fascination for old vine Garnacha by acquiring 27 parcels in the hills of Navarra, all based around the precipitous village of San Martín de Unx. These vineyards are located at altitudes ranging from 400 to 700 metres above the sea, and their photogenic vines date back to 1903.
The Terroir cuvée comes from old vines with low yields and is aged for 14 months in barrels of differing size. La Dama is an exceptional expression of Garnacha; the vines are located at 750 metres and have been farmed at extremely low yields. A true expression of what Enrique describes as ‘Atlantic mountain viticulture’, the 2010 is rich, ripe and generously structured
Grenache is the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. In the Southern Rhône it provides the backbone for most red blends and is the key component of Châteauneuf du Pape. Some Châteauneufs such as Château Rayas are even made from 100% Grenache. In the Languedoc it plays a key role in many blends and is responsible for much of the Rosé wine from Southern France.
It is the most extensively red wine grape grown in Spain where it is known as Garnacha Tinta - in Rioja it is blended with Tempranillo and is most widely planted in the warm Eastern Rioja Baja region. The very best Garnacha wines come from Priorat in Catalonia, where fruit from old Garnacha bush vines is blended with small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon to produce wines of startling intensity and depth of fruit.
Grenache was once Australia`s most widely planted black grape but much of it was grubbed up in the 70s and early 80s to make room for more fashionable grapes. However plantings have been on the increase since the early 1990s and the best examples are found in the Barossa Valley from dry-farmed, bush-pruned, old Grenache vines.
Navarra has come off the shadows of its mighty neighbour Rioja, to carve its own identity for modern, attractively priced wines from indigenous and international varieties. The region of Navarra extends from the central Pyrenees to the Ebro Valley with its vineyards located in the southern part of the region, between Pamplona and the plains.
Until the 1980s Navarra was best known for its traditional rosé wines made from Garnacha, but it has since gained a reputation for being at the forefront of oenological innovation. This transformation was due in large part to the work of the Navarra Viticulture and Oenological Research Station, which has helped turn the region into a producer of diverse (mostly red) varietals and wine styles, from Tempranillo-rich Gran Reservas and fruity rosados to modern single-varietals from international grapes.
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