Vara y Pulgar$24 and under
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Opaque ruby. Smoke- and mineral-accented black and blue fruits, candied flowers and succulent herbs on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and focused in the mouth, offering concentrated boysenberry, bitter cherry and violet pastille flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. The dark berry and floral notes linger on the spicy, very long finish, which is given shape by smooth tannins. -- Josh Raynolds.
Vara y Pulgar is made from one of the most rare grape varieties of southwestern Spain. The Tintilla grape was cultivated in Jerez for many centuries; however, it, along with many other varieties disappeared after the phylloxera epidemic in the early 20th century. Today, Alberto Orte has recovered a few cuttings from abandoned vineyards that managed to survive phylloxera, and after many years of work has managed to produce the first bottles of 100% Tintilla still (dry) wine in over a century. Jerez is famous for its Albariza soil, a type of chalk that is very light and porous. This same type of soil can also be found in some parts of the region of Champagne in France. Vines that are tended in this type of soil make superior and distinctive wines. Planted in Albariza, Tintilla is able to ripen perfectly without showing extra alcohol or overripe flavors. It has a rare confluence of delicate complexity and medium to full bodied weight on the palate, with lovely minerality similar to other wines of the region. Recent genetic studies show that Tintilla is the same grape as Graciano. It is possible that the first documents published on Tintilla were by Roxas Clemente in 1807. Abela wrote about Graciano in 1885. Tintilla has also the name of Xeres in Australia. As such, it is a reasonable hypothesis to establish that the origin of this grape is in Jerez and that Tintilla is the original name.click here for more information.