Andalucia’s most ambitious quality wine project yet is the innovative brainchild of Vicente Taberner, partner in the Sherry bodega Fernando de Castilla, a passionate wine enthusiast with a vision to produce top reds in the hills near Arcos de la Frontera, northeast of Cadiz. Great care has been taken with the building of a ‘chateau’ style bodega using traditional local designs and materials. The first vineyards, adjoining the winery, were planted in January 2002. The estate now covers 91 hectares – 75ha of which are under vine with local and international varieties, including Tintilla de Rota (a local variant of Graciano). Historically an area where fruit and vines were planted, this particular site was chosen for its sandy clay, chalky soils and microclimate, with the marked variation between day and night temperatures ideal for high quality red wines. The winery also have a further 160ha in the Balbaína district of Jerez de la Frontera. Huerta de Albalá is possibly the most significant development in Andalucian winemaking since the creation of Sherry!
Grapes are hand harvested at the beginning of September from vineyards surrounding the winery in Arcos de la Frontera, northeast of Cadiz. This wine is made from a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Tintilla de Rota. Fermentation of the Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot takes place in stainless steel. Tintilla de Rota is fermented in wooden 500 litre fermentation vats. The wine is then aged for six months in one and two year old French Allier oak barrique with two rackings before being bottled. 150,000 bottles produced.
A complex nose of dried cherries, blackberries, cranberry and savoury balsamic notes. These characters continue onto the plalate along with sweet spice and black fruit. Complex and multi-layered with sufficient tannin and acidity to add structure and length.
This powerful wine will stand up to fat steaks, rich peppery sauces and all manner of big meats.