El Senyal Negre
Grenache (60%), Downy Grenache (20%), Carignan (20%)
The Grenache is from 30 year old vines grown at 420m overlooking Vall Major in Batea. The Downy Grenache (Garnatxa Peluda) and Carignan are from the vineyards at Mas de Cabrera in Gandesa. Both areas are dominated by poor limestone soils. After the hot dry summer promoted early ripening, both the Grenaches were picked at late as feasible on the 26th and 28th September to ensure phenolic ripeness. The Carignan followed on the 3rd and 5th of October.
Each grape variety was hand picked separately before undergoing a 5 day cold soak. Individual fermentations followed at up to 24°C in stainless steel, with regular punchdowns. Malolactic fermenta- tion and 6 months maturation was carried out in French and American oak barrels (20% of which were new).
– Alcohol content: 14.5%
– Total acidity: 5.8 g/l as Tartaric
– Volatile acidity: 0.42 g/l
– Residual sugar: 0.3 g/l
Very floral nose full of lifted ripe strawberries and vanilla fudge with a blackcurrant hint. The palate is all red fruits with plums and strawberries to the fore. Mouthfilling but smooth and approach- able rather than tannic.
As well as the traditional ‘steak frites’, BBQ ribs and chops, it also pairs well with stronger cheeses, especially goat and with milder curries.
The wine is ideally served at 16-18°C. It will benefit from decanting shortly before serving, particularly as it ages. It will continue to evolve over the next 5-10 years.