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Bernabeleva "Navaherreros" Garnacha '21
San Martín de Valdeiglesias is only a 60-minute drive west of Madrid, but the terrain quickly becomes rugged and mountainous and the air cooler. Bernabeleva is on the eastern edge of Spain’s Sierra de Gredos mountains, and here a Madrid doctor named Vincente Alvarez-Villamil purchased land in 1923. The site, which at that time was a full day’s travel from Madrid, spoke of its Celtic past, with ancient bears carved from boulders to mark forests dedicated to the hunt goddess. He named the estate Bernabeleva, or “bear’s forest,” believing it was a special place to plant the noble Garnacha (Grenache) and a place whose wines might exhibit profound character. While the next decade brought increased political instability to Spain, and the Civil War that erupted in 1936 devastated the country, the family held onto the land.
In 2006, two of Vincente’s great-grandchildren, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana purchased Garnacha vineyards from neighboring properties as well. Many of the vineyards here are at more than 500 meters in elevation, and warm days with cool evenings are the norm in summer. The resulting wines show ample ripeness but also buoyancy and freshness. The Bernabeleva wines are made with long macerations and aged in used barrels, with the aim of understanding the character of each of the estate’s parcels of vines.
The Navaherreros Tinto is selected from the oldest and best parcels throughout the estate. It undergoes a long maceration, sometimes exceeding 40 days, and is aged for an additional year in neutral wood before release.
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