• Garnacha Redefined

    Garnacha Redefined

    Comando G's Garnacha from the ancient hillsides above Madrid is among the most exciting Spanish reds I've encountered. Comando G has a unique understanding of Garnacha alongside a few others in the world, including Old Rayas and Henri Bonneau.

    These wines are similar to the composure, silken texture, and focus on freshness that I've come to expect from Cru Beaujolais, but we're not dealing with Gamay here. The Comando G wines are true to their Garnacha roots, with robust red fruit traits and wild incense spice, yet streamlined to reveal a brisk spine and chiseled rock minerality.

    Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia became friends in college and, after graduation, worked for wineries around Madrid. Rumors spread about plots of old, wild vines growing high in the hills of Sierra de Gredos. The duo leased the vineyards, implemented organic and biodynamic farming, and began producing these micro-cuvées under their label.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • New Spain Hotspot

    New Spain Hotspot

    Collaborative efforts between friends have been a common thread within The New Spain wine scene that I've seen blast off over the last few years. In Madrid's Sierra de Gredos mountain range, we've focused earlier on the highest-end single-vineyard bottlings of Comando-G. Now, we turn to a different source—the most crystalline and elegant interpretation of this granite terroir, which embodies the value play.

    The four partners (Javier Garcia, Laura Robles, David Velasco, and David Moreno) met while hiking in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, located 80 km east of Madrid. All had unique backgrounds related to wine, each bringing a different element of expertise to this project founded in 2009. The lineup of wines is terrific, but at $27 per bottle, their GR10 is the perfect model of how delicacy and transparency can be a Spanish red's leading traits, not just a supporting element.

    GR10 is a blend of 85% Garnacha, 10% Cariñena, 3% Morenillo, and 2% Syrah. I'm always inclined to use words like "crunchy" and "snappy" to illustrate how the red fruit profile expresses itself here. There is certainly a core of energy and an abundance of minerality, but these fresh fruit qualities take me back to tasting grape clusters picked off the vine. This has always been a personal requirement for me falling in love with any wine—a serious connection to the raw material harvested. It's this fundamental, natural component that should echo from a wine when first tasted.

    The Four Monkeys, as they call themselves, clearly share this passion for lively and fruit-forward wines. It's also their brilliant, non-interventionist approach in the cellar that gives GR10 such sophisticated texture and structure. Totally seamless, full of bright minerality, savory spices, and explosively pure fruit persisting on the long finish.

    It's been inspiring over the last three years being introduced to so many new Spanish projects that simply get it. In the realm of value reds, the 4 Monos Tinto GR10 is the wine that's pulled me in the very most.

    —Max Kogod

    Posted by Sydney Love