Envinate - 2019 Benje Tinto
One of the most exciting producers in Spain rn, Envínate (meaning 'wine yourself') is the brainchild of four friends who met while studying enology at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante. Their work is currently focused in exploring the ancient, Atlantic-infused terroirs of Extremadura, Ribeira Sacra, and the Canary Islands. To allow each parcel to fully express itself, no chemicals are used in any of the Envínate vineyards, all parcels are picked by hand, the grapes are foot-trodden, and the wines are fermented exclusively with wild yeasts.
Benje Tinto is mainly old vine, head pruned parcels of Listan Prieto, the grape referred to as Mission in the US or Pais in South America. It’s a variety that had been abandoned by the locals over the last few decades due to its pale colour and low alcohol; attributes that made it immediately attractive to Envinate. It's co-fermented with a splash of Listan Blanco. Grown near the town of Santiago above 1000m high in vineyards that are dotted with dark Lipilli ash from the last volcanic eruption. There's deep red volcanic earth here too, and undergrowth, so it looks less like a moonscape. The resulting wine is imbued with a distinct feeling of smoked earthenware, almost like baked terracotta. After an initial whip of reduction, it dances along your palate to beats of crushed strawberry, peppercorns, purple flowers and pumice, enshrouded in beautiful smoky aromatics. Elegant and fine-boned. What a special treat from this fascinating region.
Variety Listán Prieto, Listan Blanco || Region Canary Islands, Spain || ABV 12.5% || Vol 750ml