Mas Que Vinos

2011 La Plazuela

BLEND | 80% Cencibel (Tempranillo) & 20% Garnacha

VINEYARDS | 80 year old bush vines with a yield of 1500 kg/hectare on limestone soils at an altitude of 750 meters. La Plazuela is the name of the old family winery (from 1851) located at the “plazuela de la iglesia” (the small square, next to the church), with the old amphoras and where the wine is aged.

WINEMAKING | Spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel tanks followed by malolactic in traditional cement amphoras (tinajas). Aging for 15 months in new 300L French oak followed by a final 3 months in tinaja.

“Widely considered the best red from La Mancha, the 2011 La Plazuela is a blend of Cencibel (the local strain of Tempranillo) and 20% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet); the grapes are sourced from dry farmed, head-pruned old vineyards on chalk-rich soils and fermented with indigenous yeasts in a small stainless steel vat. The aging is quite convoluted, one year in cement vats (really old 'tinajas' or 'conos'—what we'll call amphora now), where it goes through malolactic fermentation, then 18 months in French oak barriques; after that, it goes back to the cement for settling down before bottling some four years after the harvest. The nose is really different from its siblings with some mineral, diesel-like aromas, hints of iodine intermixed with sweet spices and a creaminess from the oak. The palate is medium-bodied, with abundant, very fine tannins, with great concentration and power without a hint of aggressiveness. This is a wine with stuffing and balance, as well as good acidity. Very tasty and fresh, it slowly develops notes of licorice. It could very well be the best vintage of La Plazuela so far. I wish there were more wines like this in La Mancha. This is a red for the long haul, so the oakiness (which is significantly lower than in previous vintages anyway) does not bother me much, as the wine has enough stuffing to absorb it. So if you don't like oaky reds, leave it alone for five years, as it has all that it takes to make old bones.” - Luis Gutierrez