2019 Los Bermejos Listán Negro, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
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ABOUT THIS WINE
This bottling is 100% listán negro aged for five months in French oak from the Allier forest. Concentrated and complex, it displays generous layers of black currant, red currant preserve, sweet red pepper, paprika, worn leather, and smoke. Medium-full bodied, with a lingering savory finish and distinctive rocky minerality, it makes an outstanding dinner companion, especially great with stuffed peppers with chorizo and rice, or with paella. Organically grown.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Los Bermejos is owned and run by winemaker Ignacio Valdera, on the island of Lanzarote, the most challenging of the Canary Islands on which to produce wine. A mere 125 km from the African coastline, conditions here are extreme, earning the island the reputation of “vineyard of the impossible.” The terrain of Lanzarote resembles a lunar landscape more than a traditional vineyard, as very little vegetation can survive in the porous, black volcanic soil that only receives a few inches of rain per year. Adding to the challenging conditions are the fierce winds from the Atlantic Ocean and Sahara desert, resulting in the innovative winegrowing technique of planting each vine in a small hole, or hoyo, each protected from the elements by its own little stone wall. The hoyos also allow the vines to better access the organic matter beneath the top layer of solidified lava. As might be expected, yields are very low and all the vineyard work is done by hand (using pack camels), and organically (the winery is in the process of certification). Listán Negro (also known as Listán Prieto or Palomino Negro), is closely related to país, or mission, grown in parts of South America and California. Listán negro barely remains on the European mainland (it was wiped out by the phylloxera epidemic) but thrives on the Canary Islands, where it covers almost 12,000 acres of land.