75cl bottle. Organic
Led by winemaker Núria Altés and her husband Rafael de Haan, whose backgrounds have been in wine their whole lives, this winery highlights the very best of what can be achieved from Garnacha and this breathtaking area of mountainous landscape. In 2010, Nuria decided to buy her father’s grapes and make quality wine that carried her family’s name. The Herència Altes brand was born and in 2013 its success allowed the first planting of their first vineyard – La Serra, and their own small winery in the village of Batea. Nuria and team have worked with esteemed French winemaker Claude Gros where Garnacha is without a doubt the star grape. With Claude, the team experiments with different materials and techniques to get the very best from the local terroir. Four wines soon expanded to nine, including the two single vineyard wines – La Serra Blanc and La Serra Negre. In 2014 and 2015 the Grau and Chalamera vineyards were purchased, bringing the total holding to 60ha. A new part-submerged winery in the Grau vineyard will open officially in early 2017 – designed to achieve greater thermal efficiency, thereby lowering energy use. The winery relies almost entirely on solar power and continues the commitment to lowering environmental impact by recycling rainfall for use throughout the facility. All the vineyards are farmed according to organic practices with certification expected in 2018.
The Garnatxa Blanca is grown on sand and clay with some calcareous content. A young expression of this variety, the old vines it is grown on helps achieve complexity and balance. It spends two months on fine lees to gain texture and complexity – resulting in an aromatic wine with notes of melon and white fruits on the nose that is balanced with a medium body.
Very aromatic with notes of melon and white fruits on nose. On the palate it is balanced with a medium body and a nice crisp freshness. Pairs well with simple tapas and grilled squid.
The Herència Altés wine range has recently been reviewed by Luis Gutiérrez of The Wine Advocate. He awarded 7 wines with 90-93+ points elevating Herència Altés to one of Spain’s most premium producers.
The wine may be full of pure citrus and pear-like fresh-fruit aromas and flavours yet it is much more than this, with a firm texture from three months on the lees after spontaneous fermentation (ie no added yeasts) in stainless-steel tanks, with lees stirring to create a more full-bodied wine that is nevertheless deliciously fresh. The acidity and the creamy texture give the wine shape and structure, turning something seductively fruity into something serious, with complexity that is notable for a wine at this price. The alcohol is a perfectly balanced 13%. Wine of the week Jancis Robinson 11th August 2023