This tremendous quality wine is made from old vine Garnacha and it sells for a song! San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. Zestos Rosado shows the complexity of wine twice its price. In fact, many wines that cost three times the price of Zestos do not show the complexity of this humble yet complex wine. Zestos is produced from Garnacha vines that were planted in 1960s in the high elevation vineyards of San Martin Valdeiglesias - northwest of Madrid. Today San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. The older the vines, the better the wine. Old vines do not over produce. As a result, the vines yield fully ripened grapes. Perfectly ripe grapes make wines that improve with time. Zestos means basket in Spanish. Not too many years ago, baskets like the ones depicted on the label were used to transport grapes from the vineyard to the wineries. Madrid has recently become the center of one of the most interesting and innovative wine regions on the Iberian Peninsula. The outskirts of this storied royal city are filled with old vine Garnacha situated in high elevation vineyards that have been planted in ideal soils. Madrid is a sort of a “great unknown” that is now just freshly discovered. Most consumers are unaware that Madrid makes wine and because Vinos de Madrid is not yet “on the radar” of wine consumers, it is a great source of incredible values today.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Old vine Garnacha, dry farmed vineyards. The vines are head pruned, planted since 1965 and tended in sandy and limestone soil.
GRAPE: 100% Garnacha. Vines planted since 1965. Tended in sandy and limestone soil at 800 m (2,625ft) elevation.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Zestos Rosado pairs well shrimp, shellfish and spicy seafood preparations.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: The objective is to make a bright rosé that is pale "onion"-skin orange. After harvest, the grapes are pressed and macerate at cold temperature with 30% of the skins for 6 to 8 hours. After this very short time of skin contact, the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout the cold fermentation process. After 30 days of natural decanting, the wine is slightly filtered and then bottled in January.
PRODUCTION: 6,000 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located in Zone 7, in the high elevation district of San Martin de Valdeiglesias at 800 meters (2,625 ft.) elevation. The sandy and limestone soil in this area is responsible for the mineral characters expressed in Zestos. For climate, the area's high elevation of 800 meters makes it the most extreme climate in the region. The risk of frost during early budding and flowering is very high. However, when the risk of frost is low, San Martin produces among the most floral and mineral Garnachas in all of Spain. The average temperature from April to October is 17.9C (64.2F) and yearly rainfall is 574mm (22.6 in).
TASTING NOTES: This elegant vibrant, mineral-rosé from the high elevation mountains of Madrid offers aromas of strawberry and pomegranate coupled with flavors of cherries and grapefruit. The finish is crisp with notes of minerality.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold