Albahra (Castilian for “small sea”) is named for the vineyard area in the Almansa region close to the town of Albacete, located at the southeastern tip of Castilla-La Mancha. A blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera and 30% Moravia Agria. The Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet, a red-juiced grape) is from a 3ha parcel vineyard on clay/calcareous soils. The Moravia Agria (a high-acid, low alcohol blending grape) is from a single vineyard on sandy clay-calcareous soils in neighboring Manchuela, which is pruned to get larger grapes, since there is only around 50ha of Moravia Agria left in Spain. All grapes are hand-harvested and vinified separately by parcel. The Garnacha Tintorera is foot-trodden in vat with 30-50% stems included and 6-10 days skin maceration, then fermented and raised on fine lees in concrete for 8 months. The Moravia Agria is completely destemmed and sees 7 days maceration before being pressed and raised on fine lees in 228L used French barriques for 8 months, all without battonage. The wine is then blended and bottled unfined, unfiltered and with very little SO2 addition.
Manchuela and Almansa, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.
70% Garnacha Tintorera, 30% Moravia Agria.
From a number of parcels of vines (3 of Garnacha Tintorera near Albacete, 1 of Moravia Agria near Manchuela) planted on calcareous, clay, and sandy soils of up to 900m of elevation. Viticulture is organic, vines are trained en vaso and range from 30-45-years-old.
The grapes were fermented with indigenous yeasts by parcel. 30% to 70% whole bunches are used, and maceration averages around 10 days before pressing with a pneumatic press. Fermentation completes in a mix of used barrels and concrete tanks, and the wine rests on its lees for 8 months. Bottled without fining or filtering, and with only a very small addition of sulfur.
The 2021 vintage was quite similar to 2020: the spring and winter were wet and cool, while summer and fall were hot and dry. This is a good pattern for the area, and the vines and grapes were healthy.
Envínate (translates as "wine yourself") is the brainchild of 4 friends, winemakers Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez. This gang of 4 formed back in 2005 while studying enology at the University of Miguel Hernandez in Alicante. Upon graduation, they formed a winemaking consultancy, which evolved into Envínate, a project that focuses on exploring distinctive parcels mainly in the Atlantic-inflected regions of Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands. Their collective aim is to make profoundly pure and authentic wines that express the terruño of each parcel in a clear and concise manner. To this end, no chemicals are used in any of the Envínate vineyards, all parcels are picked by hand, the grapes are foot-trodden, and the wines are fermented exclusively with wild yeasts, with a varying proportion of whole grape clusters included. For aging, the wines are raised in old barrels and concrete, and sulfur is only added at bottling, if needed. The results are some of the most exciting and honest wines being produced in Spain today.