ARLANZA WAS ELEVATED FROM Vinos de la Tierrato D.O. status in 2008
IMPORTS OF ARLANZA TO THE U.S. ARE ALMOST NON-EXISTANT*
HIGH ELEVATION VINEYARDS AT THE EDGE OF FEASIBILITY – 900-1000M
UNIMAGINABLY GREAT, UNIQUE WINES IN TINY QUANTITIES
FIELD BLENDS OF ANCIENT VINEYARDS – MENCIA, TEMPRANILLO, CABERNET FRANC, PLUS AN ADDITIONAL DOZEN OR SO CULTIVARS
I have spent a quarter of a century as a sommelier, distributor and importer and I have had many great days, but nothing beats May 11, 2015.
In the village of Lerma, we were warmly received at the Consejo Regulador’s office of D.O. Arlanza. Sixteen producers presented to us, one at a time, some waiting up to four hours!
A few of the wines were just good. Many were excellent, and a couple of the producers were astonishing. We met humble, gracious, hard working, smart people who are the backbone of this new frontier for Spanish wine.
I delight in being the first to tell you about Arlanza. Our initial Arlanza exposure was through Juan Leza and David Gonzales from Gomez Cruzado. They have a side project called Sabinares in Arlanza. We also discovered the profound wines Alonso Angulo. Both are now in stock! Anyone want samples?
Later this fall, another great producer — Albornoz — will arrive, giving 2Twenty the three best producers from a region with only 23 producers! What was left behind would make any good wine person weep.
Importers, sommeliers and retailers need another Spanish wine region like we need a hole in the head, but one taste and you’ll understand. I envision Arlanza doing what Priorat did: coming from nowhere to reach the highest pinnacle of quality.
Unlike Priorat, however, Arlanza is COOL! Get in on the ground floor; you may not be able to later.
* Some bulk Arlanza has been imported as generic Spanish red category labels. And our friends at Louis Dresner import Olivier Riviere, a (great) Rioja producer who also bottles an Arlanza. I am unclear if they import it or not.
The French say “elevage,” but somehow “elaborate” seems to better indicate a process by which a wine is not just “made” but perfected. Not just elevated, but conceptually refined with an organoleptic completeness. We have named our monthly update and journal of wine related ideas, Elaborāte, to signify our quest for wine knowledge and wisdom. Please share with your staffs.