Armas de Guerra Rosado
Founded in 1879, Vinos Guerra is the oldest winery in the Bierzo region and one of the most historic wineries in Spain. The founder Don Antonio Guerra was a pioneer in many ways. He was one of the first producers to bottle sparkling wines in the traditional method (método tradicional) in Spain. In addition to wine, Don Antonio also produced a variety of spirits from Agua Ardiente to Vermouth and Anisettes. Today, the Guerra winery farms one-third of all the vineyards in the Bierzo region. Out of the 3,000 ha (7,413 acres) of vineyard land in Bierzo, Guerra takes care of 1,000 ha (2,471 acres), however they only make wine with the best 10% of the grapes. This rigorous selection process allows the Guerra wines to consistently show extraordinary quality. In addition to been so selective, Guerra possesses among the oldest and most precious Mencia (Mehn-cee-ah) and Dona Blanca vines in the Bierzo region. The average age of these vines is 50 years, making wines that express an impressive sense of depth and flavor.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? A historic winery founded in 1879, making wines with old vines 50+ years old, from dry-farmed vineyards. In addition Guerra controls one-third of all the vineyard land in Bierzo (1,000 ha or 2,471 acres) and only makes wine with the best 10% of the grapes harvested.
RATING HISTORY: 2015 89 VN; 2013 89IWC
GRAPE: 100% Mencia. Vines planted since 1963. Tended in river stone and clay soil at 525 m (1,722 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This light, dry rosé is perfect for light salads, light pasta and rice dishes, especially with seafood, raw and lightly cooked shellfish and grilled fish and goat's milk cheeses.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: The free-run juice is drained at low temperature without previous maceration and under an inert atmosphere. Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 12 days at 12C. 100% unoaked.
PRODUCTION: 5,500 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located mostly in the lower valley of the Bierzo region. The vines are tended in clay and river stones. The average elevation of the vineyards is from 525 m (1,722 ft) elevation. Temperature from April to October average 16.3C (61.3F) with annual rainfall of 626mm (24.6").
TASTING NOTES: Pale pink. Lively red berry and orange zest scents are complemented by fresh floral and white pepper flourishes. Juicy and precise, offering bitter red currant and tangerine flavors that deepen and become sweeter on the back half. Taut and nervy on the finish, which hangs on with good spicy persistence. -- Notes by Josh Raynolds
All photos: Friederike Paetzold