Here's a Spanish red that will surprise and please in equal measure. It makes a great gift for wine lovers because it is as interesting as it is delicious. Spain is known for its wealth of old vines, mostly grown en vaso (in the shape of a vase) and low to the ground to keep them anchored since there is no trellis they can rely on for support.
These sturdy vines have hefty trunks and, impressively, produce grapes even when they are 100 years of age and older. The fruit tends to taste extremely concentrated and is not exactly plentiful on these old vines, which can yield as low as one to 1.5 kgs of grapes per vine but the results are worth the expense of retaining these beautiful old vines.
All of the above is a build up to recommend one of our most impressive Spanish reds in store, tucked away on a bottom shelf (good for keeping the bottles cool and dark but not so easy to find). The wine is Lalama. The current vintage is 2017 and the blend of five grapes is led mostly by Mencia which makes up 90% of the wine, with the remaining 10% divided between Spanish grapes Brancellao, Mouton, Souson and Garnacha Tintorera.
It is an unusual red. Not least because it is made from such old vines but also because it was aged in French oak barrels (all old barrels), which is a style departure from the norm in Spain, a country that tends to favour the toasted coconut aromas that American oak lend to wine. This full bodied wine has all the dark fruit flavours of a Mediterranean wine but is beautifully balanced by the naturally high acidity of the Mencia grape, which provides a sense of freshness to the wine.
Try this as a gift for the wine lover in your life this Xmas...
Buy it here 2017 Lalama Bodega Dominio do Bibei Ribeira Sacra RRP $56.99