Dos Dedos de Frente Syrah 2018Regular price £29.95
95% Syrah, 5% Viognier, vineyards at 950 m above sea level. Aged for 12 months in a mixture of 650- and 500-litre used French oak. Spectacular and intense dark fruit on the nose! Blackcurrant, blackberries, cassis, violets, smoke and minerality. On the palate, it is rich and deep but not massive. It has mouth-watering acidity, ripe tannins, and elegant oak integration. I find this vintage more balanced than previous ones. The wine has precise fruit expression. 2018 has been the greatest year for this wine.
Jancisrobinson.com (Ferran Centelles) 18/20
Region: Calatayud, Aragon
Grapes: Syrah, Viognier
El Escoces Volante is the project of the Scottish (but already ‘adopted’ in Spain) Norrel Robertson MW. He is one of the best and most admired winemakers in the country. It was not the first time we talked about Norrel’s project and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. He has been producing his own wines in Spain for 15 years. In the late 1990s Norrel decided to pursue his career in winemaking and worked vintages in Chianti in Italy (Tenuta di Arceno), Portugal (Esporão and Quinta de la Rosa), Australia (Nepenthe), France (Dom du Clos Roussely) and Chile (Laroche). In 2003 he moved to Spain as a flying winemaker for the UK-based International Wine Services and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud. Soon after, he decided to start making his own wines in the region. He also leads and consults on projects in Murcia, Valencia and Galicia. Currently, Norrel owns 21 hectares (52 acres) of old-vine Garnacha around the villages of Villarroya de la Sierra and Cervera de la Cañada in Calatayud. Most of his vineyards range from 45 to 110 years old but he has also encouraged some new plantings too.
They believe their 10th release of this high-altitude, late-ripening Syrah is the most balanced to date. The 2018 Dos Dedos de Frente comes from two hectares in the village of Villarroya de la Sierra planted in 2000 with a selection from the Rhône on stony soils at 950 meters in altitude, and it also contains 5% Viognier. In previous vintages, they only used the Viognier skins, but in 2018 the grapes ripened at the same time, so they were able to ferment it with the whole berries. The grapes were handpicked the 12th of October and fermented after a six-day cold soak, then the wine matured for 12 months in 500- and 650-liter oak casks (he abandoned the 225-liter oak barrels when he started this cuvée in 2016, and there was a change in the wine when he started using larger barrels). This is showy and exuberant, more in the style of Guigal than Clape. It's expressive, open, spicy and smoky, with abundant, fine-grained and chalky tannins. It's juicy, full-bodied and manages to keep the freshness and tension. This is still extremely young, and it's going to need a couple of years in bottle to start expressing what it really is. It should age nicely, as it has the stuffing and balance to do so. 6,373 bottles were filled in November 2019
Robertparker.com (Luis Gutierrez) 95/100