Comando G La Bruja de Rozas 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia, friends since college, found themselves working in the area centered around the Sierra de Gredos: Daniel at his family’s estate, Bodegas Jimenez-Landi and Fernando at Bodega Marañones. Drawn to the mountains and rumors of small, nearly inaccessible vineyard plots located high in the Sierra de Gredos, over time they began purchasing and leasing the best sites they could find, creating their own project, Comando G in 2008. Along with the pioneers of the Priorat, Daniel and Fernando are redefining what was previously viewed as a workhorse variety, Garnacha, into something that can rival the elegance and finesse of Pinot in Burgundy or Syrah in the northern Rhône.
The vineyards that Daniel and Fernando have assembled are all farmed biodynamically. These vines all range in age from 50 to 80 years old and are planted on sandy soils weathered from granite, slate and quartz. A combination of high altitude, freely draining soils, and a mild and fairly humid micro-climate – for central Spain – guarantees a long growing season and a modest alcohol level in the finished wines. The resultant wines are startlingly pale, extraordinarily aromatic and intensely flavorful. Each site is harvested by hand, usually in October, fermented by indigenous yeasts in open top French oak casks then aged in a combination of 500-700L French oak barrels, foudre and clay amphorae.
Each vineyard site, labeled as Vino de Parcela, are expressive of place. Tumba del Rey Moro, one of the newest sites, answers the question, what if Marcel Lapierre made Rayas? While Rumbo al Norte shows a more generous profile where the minerality is hidden by juicier fruit and greater tannin. Finally Las Umbrias shows incredible poise and balance weaving together florality, pure mineral, delicate fruit and mouth tingling tannin. Together these wines could aptly be called Grand Cru Garnacha.
Sitting just north of La Mancha, Spain’s (and Europe’s, for that matter) largest classified wine region, this region is much smaller than the vast La Mancha. However, Vinos de Madrid DO is a relatively large region in and of itself, with four subregions that start about 9 miles from the city center. Three of the subregions form a semicircle around the southern suburbs, Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martín, where styles vary from one to another. El Molar, situated directly north of the city, is the newly created 4th subregion.
Since Vinos de Madrid was granted DO status in 1990, it has immersed itself in local wine production. Since then, substantial efforts have been made to raise quality and knowledge of the wines produced here. Millions of tourists who visit Spain’s capital city each year help the wines gain recognition and popularity across the globe. The growing investment through the years has paid off and export markets are increasingly interested in Vinos de Madrid wines.
While Tempranillo is the most planted grape variety in the Arganda subregion in the southeast, Garnacha is the dominant grape in all other subregions, including El Molar in the north, Navalcarnero in the south, and especially San Martín de Valdeiglesias in the west.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.