Another fantastic single parcel release from this top Tenerife winery. Made from pure 80+ year old vine Listan Negro grapes grown in the traditional “Cordon Trenzado” training system on volcanic soils at 450 to 550 meters altitude with a Northeast and East – West aspect. The grapes were fermented in concrete tanks with natural yeasts and wines were bottled unfiltered after 11 months ageing in 500 litre neutral French oak barrels. The colour is a wonderfully light translucent cherry red with almost no graduation in colour. Initially quite tight with restrained, stony, with slightly reductive aromatics, the wine slowly loosens its grip and releases wonderful perfumed notes of lilac, cherry blossom, red plum, spicy red apple and a pronounced sappy, stalk spice, basalt minerality. The palate is impressively elegant and decidedly polished but all the while boasting multiple layers of gravel, volcanic rock and graphite with suave sweet cranberry and pithy red cherry complexity. There is plenty of elegance, pinpoint textural focus, plenty of tension in a young Pinot Noir’esque Burgundian style. The wine finishes with an enchantingly fresh, piercing salty twang, yet more stony volcanic basalt minerality and a most delicious kiss of salty red liquorice. Probably a bit young to drink now despite its elegance and finesse, I would tuck these away for 2 to 3 years and drink over 5 to 8+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 95/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
The red that keeps changing with the vintage is the 2017 7 Fuentes El Lance, which, for the first time, is not dominated by Listán Negro, as the blend is 35% each Vijariego Negro and Listán Negro and the remaining 30% Castellana Negra from five different vineyards (Habanera, Florida, Pencones, Cruz Santa and Diego), where only the Listán is pruned in the braided "cordón trenzado." It fermented in plastic bins and concrete vats with part of full clusters, no temperature control and indigenous yeasts. It matured in a combination of used 500-liter oak barrels and concrete vats. It's only 12.5% alcohol, a little lower than the 2015 and a full 1% less than the 2015. In general, they are aiming at reducing the alcohol percentages of their wines, and the 2017s have less alcohol than the 2016s. That also translates into more freshness in the wine. The palate is austere, with fine tannins and a mineral, dry finish. It's a serious red blend; it's interesting to see how the blending of varieties work so well... 8,000 bottles were filled in July 2018.