30 April, 2015

Wines of Bodegas Sierra Salinas

Bodega Sierra Salinas is a modern sustainable facility located near the small town of Villena in the Spanish denominacion de origen of Alicante.  They strive to use modern methods with respect for tradition.  Working  to find local varieties that succeed and presenting these grapes with authenticity,  honors the personalities of the old vines.

Old vines , in this case 46  - 70 years old,  have very small annual growth and require nurturing and attention, which they get from the Bodegas Sierra Salinas team. Best of all, they are delicious!

The plantings are:
77% Monastrell
20% Alicante Bouschet  aka Garnacha Tintorero
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
10% Petit Verdot

In the photo to the right, you can see, where soil is darker, an area where Monastrell thrives and has been for more than 70 years.


Alicante Bouschet buds
30-60 cm below surface is limestone.  Bodegas Sierra Salinas found that tasty Alicante Bouschet also grows in this area.  This tenacious grape's  roots are able to find water by going through the limestone as the tip of the root produces an enzyme that can dissolve limestone

Each vine has only one or two roots that can go deep enough to find moisture, which is very important in dry years.  The last few years have been so dry, that the winery installed drip irrigation.  Sustainability is important, but survival is even more so.

Monastrell vines thrive, if you can use such a word for the vines' low maintenance lifestyle.  They bear fruit in rock strewn dust basically.  The stones reflect the heat in the summer and retain the heat in winter.  In the afternoon, wind dries the moisture and protects against mildew and botrytis.  The soil is 20% clay and is susceptible to phylloxera which arrived in 1907. Since then, vineyards use grafted vines, which are also are more consistent

After all the struggles to grow the grapes, the winery team takes many precautions to vinify gently to get the best flavor in the finished wines.  The production facility is so clean and contained, you don't smell wine.  In the barrel room, it was so interesting to have the single melody of oak aroma.  Every detail is perfected to produce wines of exceptional quality

Easy for me to say as I got to taste through them!  Here are some notes:

Puerto Salinas White, 2013 30% Roman muscat  or Muscat of Alexandria adds lively floral character to 70%Chardonnay.  Pale yellow in color with hint of green.  Aromas of lime, white peach and vinous notes.Touch of vanilla in flavor.  Nice acidity pleasant green shaded finish.White wine here is small item to finish out their line

MO Salinas Monastrell 2012
85% Monastrell – 10% Cabernet Sauvignon – 10% Garnacha Tintorera Monastrell contributes a lovely blackberry aroma with little baking spice underneath. Nice rich flavors leads with vinous quality followed by  more berry

Puerto Salinas 2010
Monastrell 70% - 10% Cabernet Sauvignon - 15% Garnacha Tintorera - 5% Petit Verdot.  Aromas of Blackberry with cured meat notes.  Elegant tannins and herbal note on the finish

Puerto Salinas 2013 has notes of graphite and back beat of violets wonderful elegant tannins with luscious acidity

Mira Salinas, 2010
Monastrell 60% - 10% Cabernet Sauvignon - 20% Garnacha Tintorera - 10% Petit Verdot Lovely maple in aroma with meaty note and violets. Expect this to age well  Another nice detail,  they use premium corks Smooth mouth feel with grippy tannins that vanish to nice vinous acidity

Sierra Salinas at 1237 meters
Salinas 1237 2009 named for the meter height of the namesake mountain. Aromas of cinnamon strawberry eucalyptus and baking spice.  Satiny mouth feel. Pleasant tannins with a slight grip. Lovely vinous acidity with float of cinnamon to the finish. Fermented in open top barrels and undergoing malolactic aging 21 months in same barrel. Old vine monastrell 70 years. Small production of of this wonderful wine at 2000 bottles.

Dulce - Late harvest Monastrell. Luscious concentrated blackberry flavor with just enough acidity to make it fun to drink

It was a sweet ending to a fun visit to this lovely spot where the grape's struggle is our reward.  Balanced lovely wines and a wonderful team whose attention to detail drives quality in everything they do.

Many thank to MGW Group and Kraynick And Associates for hosting me!  Now if only I can badger Wines.com or K&L to get these dainties back in stock!

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