The Envinate crew: Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente

Envinate and the 2020 Vintage

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Year after year, we fall in love with the wines of Envinate, a collaborative project founded by four winemakers and friends who met while in enology school in Alicante. Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez make wines from choice plots in the Canary Islands, Ribeira Sacra, Murcia, and Almansa, intending to express the unique terroirs of each region. They have eliminated all invasive chemical treatments in the vineyards and are  producing wines with methods in the cellar that transmit the character of their plots. To this end, they pick by hand, ferment with native yeasts, and ferment and age in old wood and concrete.  As they progress on their journey, they have been honing their winemaking skills, and deepening their relationship with the vineyards they tend, and the unique terroirs and grapes they work with. The experience they have has clearly influenced their understanding of each parcel, and enabled them to envision wines they want to create and then do so, even with the challenges of climate change.

Roberto Santana showing different parcels in Tenerife

In southern part of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, drought has become a serious problem, and yields are down 60% on average. As Ben Fletcher (of José Pastor Selections) explains, everything turned to crisis style agriculture, with the focus on survival over canopy management or other priorities. The Envinate team had to work hard in their parcels to ensure that the vines survived, and they were forced to prune for the sole purpose of "reducing hydric stress and the vines' natural response to the lack of water." (BF) In the Vale de la Orotava, the harvest was the earliest ever. In Taganan, 2020 was the driest year yet (rainfall has drastically reduced since 2016), and the harvest here was also the earliest ever for the Envinate team.

Alfonso Torrente in the Seoane parcel, Ribeira Sacra

Unfortunately, conditions weren't much better in Ribeira Sacra in 2020. All across Galicia, the spring was rainy and then came a long, dry summer. Some sites lost over half of their production and the grapes that were harvested were small and concentrated, which led the Envinate team to harvest earlier than normal.

The good news is that the wines are outstanding! Of course production was limited, but what they did produce was an impressive lineup of soulful wines, beauty from adversity, if you will. Collectively, the Envinate team decided in 2020 to stop using temperature control in the cellar, and they started to work with shorter macerations with their wines. The change from using temperature control is indeed notable, and reveals the confidence that they have in their work, and in their parcels, which they have now tended for many years. To some degree, the shorter macerations may be in response to the challenging conditions in their vineyards, but seems to clearly also be an approach towards a delicate style. Without being able to compare them with previous vintages in the same sitting, it does seem that the wines are more forward and graceful in this vintage, perhaps a result of this approach.

Camino Novo parcel

The following are short excerpts from the fantastic article written last year about the Envinate wines, by Chambers St. alumnus Ben Fletcher, who is now part of the José Pastor Selections team! For more information on the vineyards and the project, click here. On Tenerife, Envínate works with three sites with very distinct microclimates. From East to West they are Taganan (and its two parcels which produce their own wines, Margalagua and Campanario), the Valle de la Orotava (here, the team works with three vineyards to produce two wines: San Antonio and La Habanera are the vineyards for Migan, and the Palo Blanco vineyard is used for a single vineyard wine of the same name), and the vineyards near their winery, in Santiago del Teide, which produce the grapes for the Benje wines. These three zones are quite distinct visually, and even more so in terms of terroir, with differences in farming methods, climate, soil, elevation, and grape varieties.

Tenerife and Envinate vineyards, courtesy of Jose Pastor Selections

 

 

 

 

In Ribeira Sacra, they work with several plots over a range of soil types.The Vinas de Aldea is Envínate’s “village wine”, produced from a combination of –minimum- 60-year-old plots. The native vines are grown on steep slopes made of slate and sit in between 400-600 meters elevation. Camiño Novo, or “new road”, is a small single parcel located in the prime Amandi subzone of Ribeira Sacra.  This parcel faces south-east, forming a small amphitheater at 430 meters elevation.  The vines are 70 years old and is made up of 90% Mencía and 10% Garnacha Tintorera.  According to Alfonso Torrente, a native to the area, Camiño Novo is a significantly cooler site for the area. Seaone is a single parcel located in the Doade area of Amandi, Ribeira Sacra.  Once again, the soils are pure slate.  The vineyard faces south-west, and the vines are very old, at least 80 years of age. This site yields wines that are upfront and very Atlantic. Misturado is sourced from a centenarian parcel located in Ribeiras do Sil.

Ribeira Sacra and Envinate vineyards

If it wasn't clear already, production was very limited, so we apologize in advance if wines sell out !

Please note, the single vineyard wines are 1 bottle per customer, and all wines will be available after Feb. 21st.

-Eben Lillie

** I forgot to explain the story behind "Chingao." As legend goes, José Pastor and Noel from Bichi Winery (Mexico) were visiting the Envinate folks and tried a special wine they had produced. Someone yelled out "chingao!" which is basically slang for "f*cked" but more in the sense of: "that's F*ng awesome,"  and so it began. Chingao wines are always special expressions and are always made with no SO2 added at any point o

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Envinate 2020 Almansa Albahra Chingao

This is a special expression of 100% Garnacha Tintorera, from a young vineyard planted at 900m elevation. The site has a very high limestone content, so the Envinate team decided to make a Chingao from the parcel. 70% Whole cluster, with aging in concrete, and bottling without SO2. From our vintage report courtesy of the Jose Pastor team, it seems 2020 was a mild year in this part of Castilla-La Mancha. Snow in the winter, a mild spring, a summer without stress, and harvest in mid-September. Paired with the elegant and bright style of vinification, the result is a really pleasant and balanced red. Lovely now, this should improve with 3-5 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • No Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Almansa Albahra 1.5L

Albahra is Envinate's Mediterranean wine, from vines of Garnacha Tintorera and Moravia-Agria planted in clay-limestone soils near Albacete in Castilla-La Mancha. The Garnacha Tintorera and the Moravia-Agria are vinified separately: the Garnacha with some stems in cement vats, and the Moravia fully destemmed in used barrels. After about 8 months they are blended together and bottled without fining or filtering and with only a small amount of SO2 added. The 2020 has beautiful mineral brightness, and lots of red fruit and spice. It will only improve, but what a pleasure right now! - BF

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  • red
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  • $63.99

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Benje Blanco

Listán Blanco from high elevation (1000-1200m) vineyards on the sunny, dry and continental north-west side of Mount Teide, near the town of Santiago del Teide. The vineyard was planted 70-100 years ago, and the soils are sandy and volcanic. All grapes are harvested by hand and a small subset macerate on the skins for about seven days. The grapes are fermented with native yeasts, mostly in concrete, with a small percentage of used French oak, some of the wine ages under flor for several months. 2020 was the earliest harvest ever for this wine, due to heat in the area, but depth is here, without any sense of under-ripeness. A great success, given the challenges of the vintage! Listan Blanco is also known as Palomino and the profile is unmistakable here, even more so with the subtle oxidative notes from the flor.  -EL

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  • white
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  • $32.99

  • Organic

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Benje Blanco 1.5L

Listán Blanco from high elevation (1000-1200m) vineyards on the sunny, dry and continental north-west side of Mount Teide, near the town of Santiago del Teide. The vineyard was planted 70-100 years ago, and the soils are sandy and volcanic. All grapes are harvested by hand and a small subset macerate on the skins for about seven days. The grapes are fermented with native yeasts, mostly in concrete, with a small percentage of used French oak, some of the wine ages under flor for several months. 2020 was the earliest harvest ever for this wine, due to heat in the area, but depth is here, without any sense of under-ripeness. A great success, given the challenges of the vintage! Listan Blanco is also known as Palomino and the profile is unmistakable here, even more so with the subtle oxidative notes from the flor.  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Benje Tinto 1.5L

Benje Tinto is 96% Listán Prieto, with Listan Blanco and Tintilla, from vineyards at around 1000-1200m near Santiago del Teide on Tenerife. This vineyard has sandy volcanic soils, and the vines are 70-100 years old. Climactically, this region is dry, windy, and continental in character, shielded from Atlantic influence by Mount Teide and elevation. The grapes are harvested by hand and fermented with indigenous yeasts with a maceration period of 10 days and punch-downs daily before aging for eight months in concrete and used French barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered with a touch of sulfur. The 2020 is a touch reductive on the nose on opening, but with a few minutes in the glass it really sings! 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $79.99

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Palo Blanco

100% Listán Blanco from centenarian vines in the black volcanic soil of the Palo Blanco vineyard, in the Valle de la Orotava of northern Tenerife. This area is humid despite the substantial elevation (600m above sea level), and the vines are trained in the braided Cordon Trenzado method to promote airflow. All grapes are hand harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete before aging in a mix of foudre and used barrels for 10 months. Bottled without fining or filtering, and with only a touch of sulfur. This vintage of the Palo Blanco is exceptional. If there is any indication or confirmation, the Envinate folks themselves consider this to be the best vintage yet of this wine. Notes of petrol, mint,and lemons, with subtle fleshy character and savory density. Not to be missed1

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $57.99

  • Low Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Palo Blanco 1.5L

100% Listán Blanco from centenarian vines in the black volcanic soil of the Palo Blanco vineyard, in the Valle de la Orotava of northern Tenerife. This area is humid despite the substantial elevation (600m above sea level), and the vines are trained in the braided Cordon Trenzado method to promote airflow. All grapes are hand harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete before aging in a mix of foudre and used barrels for 10 months. Bottled without fining or filtering, and with only a touch of sulfur. This vintage of the Palo Blanco is exceptional. If there is any indication or confirmation, the Envinate folks themselves consider this to be the best vintage yet of this wine. Notes of petrol, mint,and lemons, with subtle fleshy character and savory density. Not to be missed1

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $129.99

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Migan Tinto

The vineyards for this cuvée are located near La Perdoma in the north-central part of Tenerife. Migan is in fact an old name for the town of La Perdoma. This is 100% Listán Negro, from four parcels in the Valle de la Orotava that are over 100 years old and planted on volcanic soils with substantial amounts of clay, sand and basalt. There is some stem inclusion here. Fermentation is in concrete, and aging is for one year in neutral French oak and foudre. Bottling is without fining or filtering, and with just a touch of sulfur. This shows the classic, spicy volcanic character of Orotava, with plenty of savory, earthy substance on the palate.  -BF

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $58.99

  • Low Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Migan Tinto 'Chingao'

While Migan is an amalgam of several parcels, the Chingao is a single section of a parcel called "Tio Luis," which is a 100 year old plot that the Envinate folks consider to be quite special. Compared to some other sites, the Tio Luis parcel has a bit more clay in the soil, perhaps yielding a slightly more concentrated expression. Grapes are fermented 75% whole cluster and aging is in concrete with no SO2 added. The Envinate team has said on one occasion that they find the DO La Ortava to be the most volcanic, and this certainly comes as no surprise with the Migan Chingao! Luckily, some time in the bottle has served this wine well, and it's really lovely now, compared to our first taste in October. The reduction is now much more an aromatic profile that blows off with time, and on the palate the wine is alive with red fruit and spice.

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  • red
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  • $47.99

  • No Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Taganan Blanco

A large blend of white grapes, many hailing originally from Madeira and Portugal: Gual, Albillo Criollo, Marmajuelo, Malvasia, Forastera, Verdelho and others. From vines in Taganan along the far northeastern coast of Tenerife, where the soils are volcanic with sand and basalt. The vineyard is exceptionally steep, with ancient terraces, necessitating that it be worked by hand. The untrained vines range from 60 to 200 years old are planted from the side of the ocean up to 300m above sea level. Grapes are harvested by hand, then fermented with indigenous yeasts in open-top vats. A small subset macerate on their skins for around 7 days. The wine is aged in neutral oak for eight months, then bottled without fining or filtering and with only a small addition of sulfur.  -BF

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.99

  • Low Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Taganan Tinto

A field blend of many grapes, mostly red: Listán Negro, Listán Gaucho, Malvasia Negra, Negramoll, Baboso, and many others. The vineyard is on the northeast coast of Tenerife, planted from the water up to 300m above sea level. These ancient, untrained vines (70-300 years old) are planted on very steeply terraced, sandy, basaltic soils. All grapes are hand harvested, then undergo fermentation by indigenous yeasts with some whole clusters in open-top vats and concrete. The wine is aged in neutral oak for a year before bottling without fining or filtering. The 2020 Taganan Tinto shows just a hint of reduction on the nose, but the palate is lovely, forward, with cherries and soil. Long elegant finish.

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  • $48.99

  • Low Sulfur
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  • $48.99

Envinate 2020 Tenerife Vidueno de Santiago del Teide

70% Listan Prieto, 30% Listan Blanco from Santiago del Teide (the same vineyards as the Benje wines). "This co-planted parcel is hand-harvested, destemmed and macerated for 15 days in an open tub, then transferred to three old 228L French barriques to age for 8 months on fine lees without battonage or added SO2. Bottling is without fining, filtration or any added SO2. Due to its high elevation, this wine offers much less Atlantic character than their Taganan or Valle de La Orotava cuve´es." (note from José Pastor Selections website)

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  • red
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  • $41.99

  • No Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Ribeira Sacra Lousas Vinas de Aldea

The Lousas Vinas de Aldea is the village cuvee from Envinate’s vineyards in Ribeira Sacra (Aldea translates to "village" in Gallego, the Galician language). The grapes are sourced mainly from the Riberas do Sil region, with smaller amounts from vineyards in Amandi and Quiroga-Bibei. Soils are a combination of gneiss, slate, and granite, at varying elevations and expositions. The blend ends up being about 80% Mencia and 20% a mix of the other local grape varieties like Brancellao, Caiño, Sousón, Garnacha Tintorera and others. Aging is in concrete, used French oak and large Austrian foudres. Aromas at the moment show deep red fruit, with red apple skin and cranberry notes. There is a refinement that should arrive within a year in bottle. We would highly recommend waiting until 2023 before opening.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Envinate 2020 Ribeira Sacra Parcela Misturado de Abeleda

What a joyful wine! Misturado comes from centenarian vines of the red grapes Mencia, Merenzao, Brancellao, Caiño, Mouraton (60-65%), and the white grapes Palomino, Godello, and Doña Blanca (35-40%) in the Ribeiras do Sil region. The vines are about 600 meters above sea-level, and planted on gneiss soils with a high quartz content. Aging is in barrel for 11 months. This is a beautiful, light, and elegant red that reminds me of a cross between a really good natural wine and a fine red Burgundy. The brightness and vibrant energy of the wine is no doubt influenced by the mineral rich soils, which provide a gritty backbone. Drink now. I'm sure it could improve nicely with age, but there is a charm to the wine that I think might be best enjoyed in its youth. -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur