bernabeleva camino navaherros
"Here, on the eastern edge of Spain's Sierra de Gredos mountains, a renowned Madrid doctor named Vincente Alvarez-Villamil purchased land in 1923. The site, which at that time was a full day's travel from Madrid, spoke of its Celtic past, with ancient bears carved from boulders to mark forests dedicated to the hunt goddess.
But the estate, which Vincente named Bernabeleva, or bear's forest, held more than just an ancient history—it was, he believed, a special place to plant the noble Garnacha (Grenache) a place whose wines might exhibit profound character.
But the next decade brought increased political instability to Spain, and the Civil War that erupted in 1936 devastated the country. Though the family held onto the land, Vincente's dream of making wine ended ... for the time being.
The Dream Lives On
But in , two of Vincente’s great-grandchildren, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana Bulnes, vowed to fulfill their ancestor’s dream. The estate's vineyards were now 80-years-old, and there were Granacha vineyards to purchase from neighboring properties as well. Rejecting current fashions in Spanish wine, the cousins resolved to make wines of purity and expressiveness that were in harmony with the beauty of their ancestral land.
Juan and Santiago’s ambitions were well supported by the terroir. The vineyards are more than a half mile above sea level, with warm days but cool nights, and with poor, sandy soils. The resulting wines have ample ripeness, but also astounding bouyancy and freshness.
The cousins wanted, above all, to protect the unique personality of their estate, and they hired consultant Raúl Pérez, a master of cool-climate winemaking, to help them develop the project.
Just as important, they hired as full-time manager a young Catalan named Marc Isart Pinos. Marc's devotion to demanding viticulture and to non-interventionist winemaking have served the cousins’vision well.Their regime emphasizes long fermentations, and minimal handling. Wines are aged in barrels of different sizes, but very little new wood is used so as not to mask the glorious aromatics."--Importer
The extremely warm and early year has produced a juicy and fruit-driven Camino de Navaherreros that shows the accelerated growing season with a somewhat compact profile. This always has a small percentage of Tempranillo from one of their vineyards, and I think I noticed the character of the grape this year, even though it's harvested early to avoid the character of the variety being too marked in the wine. 37,000 bottles produced.