I first made Roberto Santana’s acquaintance 3 or 4 years ago when I started buying the Marques del Suertes wines from Tenerife that he was involved in producing. Fast forward to 2016/17 and you’ll find Roberto involved in a new(ish) project in which four friends, all oenologists, are making some amazing new wave Spanish wines from around Spain.
Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos and Jose Martinez started with a very clear philosophy… to develop authentic, accurate wines that transmit the identity of their terroir and the peculiarity of each vineyard plot, within a specific vintage context.
Envínate follow a minimal intervention winemaking philosophy and follow the biodynamic calendar for all work performed in the vineyards. Grapes are foot trodden and whole bunch vinification is carried out using only indigenous yeasts and musts are fermented without any temperature control in open vats.
A blend of 95% Mencia from 60 year old vines combined with Merenzao and Alicante Bouschet, planted on broken slate soils in a south-west facing parcel located at 400 metres above seal level in an exhilarating landscape in the Ribeira Sacra. The bouquet is expressive with dusty grey slate minerality and bright lifted red fruits of raspberries, red cherries and forest strawberries. Such expressive perfume mixes with smokey, slightly reductive dried mint leaf and dried roasted herb nuances. The wine is vibrant, lifted and intense in a real terroir-style with a pronounced sense of place. The fruit purity is concentrated, sleek and silky with an impressively sweet, elegant mid-palate and a long focused finish of spicy forest strawberries and red bramble berries. Very youthful now, this is a beautifully pure wine that will benefit from another 2-3 years ageing before opening.
(Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)