2016 Domaines Lupier El Terroir, Navarra, Spain – WA95

2016 Domaines Lupier El Terroir, Navarra, Spain – WA95

$30.95

Description

Do you remember when we sold the 2010 Domaines Lupier’s El Terroir and La Dama about six years ago?  Absolutely spectacular expressions of 100% old vine Garnacha from the upper Navarra region in northern Spain.  I remember traveling through this arid region just to the north of Pamplona (“running of the bulls”) and just south of the Pyrenees range.  Really better known for its inexpensive, good value blush wines.  And until Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar began discovering and rescuing miniscule, remnant plots of old vine Garnacha in 2006, that’s exactly where these grapes ended up.  SACRILEGE!  Studying and mapping the various diversity of soil types (chalky-clay and limestone) and using organic and biodynamic viticulture practices to nurse these dry farmed old bush vines back to health reminded me of the Priorat pioneers of the mid-1980s.

2016 was a cool vintage and these wines are not overly ripe or over oaked.  In fact, the indigenous yeast fermentations are in stainless steel and the wines are moved into large neutral oak foudres (only 8% new each vintage) for aging from 14-20 months.  The objective goal is a true and transparent expression of Garnacha and place.

“After many years’ experience in the wine sector and convinced that the making of a great wine takes place in the vineyard, Elisa Ucar and Enrique Basarte searched around and examined the terroirs in various areas until they found what they were looking for: abandoned black garnacha old vines in mountain altitude in North Spain, with predominant limestone soils, different orientations –In all, 27 treasures, some of planted since 1903, that they bought with lots of effort and they take care of them day by day organically certified and biodynamic.”

“The 2016 El Terroir comes from a selection of their organic and biodynamically farmed plots, fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured between 11 and 13 months, depending on the plot, in mostly used and mostly 500- and 600-liter oak barrels. It has crunchy fruit, red rather than black fruit, and the wine is super fresh. The oak is much better integrated than the initial vintages—it’s transparent with the wine, and you feel the fresh fruit, the rain, the soil—as a result, the wine is relaxed, harmonious and has light. This is a more complete and deeper version of the 2013,
with the freshness and acidity with long life ahead. The wines show incremental improvements year after year, and the 2016 has probably helped to obtain the most complete vintage to date. It’s long, tasty, has fine chalky tannins and impressive balance.  Drink 2020-2026.”  95 points – Wine Advocate (LG) – April 2020

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