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Juan Carlos Vizcarra is a man of intensity, passion, and incredible ambition. Though his family has grown grapes in northern DO Ribera del Duero for more than four generations, he was the first to make estate-bottled wine from this fruit starting in 1991. The story goes that when he was a boy, he noticed that the historic estates of Vega Sicilia and Pesquera would come to his family in bad vintages to buy fruit. Realizing that his family must have truly special vineyards of the highest quality, Juan Carlos took it upon himself to begin producing wines to express this blessed terroir and heritage. Like all the wines at the tiny Bodegas Vizcarra, the Vizcarra Garnacha is made using gravity-fed winemaking to preserve the freshness and elegance intrinsic to the limestone plots found in northern Burgos. In addition to preserving the history of Ribera del Duero, Juan Carlos is an intellectually curious winemaker and viticulturist, and is very interested in the potential for varieties other than Tempranillo in this extreme climate. This Garnacha is from a parcel that he planted in 2000, intended as a blending component for the wine he names for his daughter Celia. He produces it now as a monovarietal wine, the first of its kind in Ribera del Duero. Juan Carlos’ meticulous attention to detail comes across in the pure, fresh character of this Garnacha.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Garnacha plantings represent less than 2% of all vines in Ribera del Duero, so this monovarietal expression is unprecedented for the area, and speaks to Vizcarra’s commitment to elevating the conversation about this iconic region’s continued potential. His insistence on gravity-fed winemaking lets the limestone terroir shine through, making for an elegant and pure Garnacha despite the extreme climate of Ribera del Duero.
2017 90 WA; 2016 91WA, 92VM, 90WS; 2014 92VM
100% Garnacha. Vines planted in 2000. Tended in limestone and clay soil at 849 m (2,875 ft) elevation
The lush red fruit and spice notes of Vizcarra Garnacha are an excellent match with grilled meats of all kinds. Pork secreto, lamb chops with rosemary and garlic, or a rotisserie leg of lamb would all be wonderful pairs.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Gravity is a critical component in Juan Carlos's winemaking. The philosophy is always bent toward elegance and gentle extraction. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The wine is aged for 14 months in French and American oak barrels, 50% new and 50% two years old.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
This is a 1.5 hA parcel located in the town of Mambrilla, at 849 meters (2,785 ft.) elevation within the northern central area of the Ribera del Duero DO in the province of Burgos in Castilla y León. The vineyard's topsoil is composed of clay and limestone and the subsoil is gravel. The area's climate has an average temperature from April-October of 60.5F and the average annual rainfall is 18.9 inches. An extreme Continental climate, with cool nights and hot days with moderately low rainfall, provides a longer ripening period, and results in wines with greater complexity and more expressive, intense aromas. Harvest usually begins the first week of October and ends by mid-month.
Lurid ruby-red. Sexy, expansive aromas of ripe red fruits, coconut and candied flowers pick up a smoky topnote with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and mocha flavors that are firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows excellent clarity and spicy thrust on the clinging finish, which is framed by supple, even tannins. Aged in a 50/50 combination of new and used French and American oak. -- Josh Raynolds