Vinos Sin-Ley Garnacha is produced from organically grown vines planted in 1893. The high elevation vineyards of San Martin Valdeiglesias are located northwest of Madrid. Today San Martin produces some of the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. VSL Garnacha shows the complexity of a wine twice its price. The older the vines the better the wine. Old vines do not over produce. As a result the vines yield fully ripened grapes. Perfectly ripened grapes make wines that improve with time. Vinos Sin Ley's main goal is to show Spain's rich grape diversity. Together with this Garnacha, Vinos Sin Ley also includes a spicy rich Monastrell in Yecla and a profound bright Graciano in Rioja. As it pertains to VSL Garnacha, the northwestern mountains of Madrid are currently among the most interesting and innovative wine regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The outskirts of the storied royal city of Madrid are filled with organically grown old vine Garnachas. Most Spaniards have remained unaware that this region makes wine and because Madrid is not yet “on the radar” it is one of the greatest sources of value wines in Spain.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? This wine is made with grapes from vines that were planted in 1893, among the oldest Garnacha vines planted in the renowned high elevation district of San Martin de Valdeiglesias. Since its birth in 2004, VSL Garnacha has earned ratings of 90 points or higher for 8 years consecutively. The mineral and graphite characters of this wine are remarkable. The grapes are 100% organically grown.
RATING HISTORY: 2012 88RP; 2011 90IWC; 2010 90IWC; 2009 91RP; 2008 90RP; 2007 90RP; 2006 90RP; 2005 90RP; 2004 92RP
GRAPE: 100% Garnacha. Vines planted from 1893 - 1925. Tended in granite soil at 870 m (2,850 ft) elevation
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This is not a jammy, overripe, sweet, alcoholic Garnacha like those from other area's of Spain. VSL Garnacha has beautiful fruit, acidity and balance that its easy-to-drink, juicy character will pair with a variety of red and white meats, and it will also pair well with burgers, burritos, empanadas, Panini sandwiches and other casual foods
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: Aged in 2-3 year old French oak barrels during 6 months.
PRODUCTION: 3,100 cases are made
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located in Zone 7, in the high elevation district of San Martin de Valdeiglesias at 870 meters (2,850 ft.) elevation. The granite and sandy soil in this area is responsible for the mineral characters expressed in VSL Garnacha. For climate, the area's high elevation of 870 meters makes it the most extreme climate in the region. The risk of frost during early budding and flowering is very high. San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. The average temperature from April-October is 17.9C (64.2F) and yearly rainfall is 561mm (22 in).
TASTING NOTES: Bright ruby. Intense floral and spice notes accent aromas of fresh raspberry and cherry. Very sweet and silky, with ripe red berry and spicecake flavors lifted by a kick of white pepper. Finishes sweet, spicy and long, with intense raspberry confit and bitter cherry character and very good clarity.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold