Our tasting impressions
Redolent of red berries and flowers, this Rosado is a party in a glass. We think of it as the Sangria-Killer. If this gives the impression that it is strictly fun and games, consider that its dark, rich color is a calling card of a slightly amped-up blush wine. Plus, Traslanzas grapes are of such great quality that they sing through even in this format. We are lovin' it!
About this wine
Based on a traditional Cigales Rosado but by bleeding (Sangrado) some of the must, the wine becomes more concentrated and darker. It's mostly Tempranillo blended with 15% Albillo - all the vines are more than 30 years old.
Harvesting is by hand and the grapes are gently de-stemmed for the crush. Then into steel tanks for a 12-hour maceration on the skins. Fermentation is at a cool 14°C to enhance the aromatics. Then the Sangrado is done.
About the grape blend
Tempranillo is the most prominent grape of Spain and the third most planted in the world. Its name means "early little one" because of its tendency to ripen earlier than its frequent partner, Garnacha. It originated in the Iberian Peninsula, probably around the 9th Century. The grapes are dark, thick-skinned, low to moderately acidic and have smooth tannins. The wines are capable of very long aging.
Albillo, best known from Gallicia, is a white grape that adds light, tropical aromatics and a rich texture.
María's view of the vintage
It was a rainy spring and a dry, hot summer. The heat hastened the ripening of the grapes, so it was an early harvest. The wines have intense color and ample structure.
On your table
Almost anything will work but we are partial to cured meats (Jamon Iberrico!) and seafood conserva.
The Denominación of Cigales is best known for producing terrific Rosado wines. But some incredibly talented people had a vision that the Tempranillo (or Tinta del País, as its known in Cigales) from this area in Castilla y León, just north of Madrid, could produce red wines of class and distinction.
María Pinacho and Carlos Gonzalez own vines planted in 1945 by her grandfather, and a 14th Century cellar that is truly lost in time. The soil dates to the Miocene Epoch with deposits from the Tertiary Era. This combines with the influence from the Atlantic Ocean and wildly divergent climate conditions to engender unique terroir.
They produced the first vintage of Traslanzas in 1998. There has not been time or need to look back. Vineyards were added - for a total now of 30 hectares - planted to 90% Tempranillo (the rest are Albio & Garnacha which are used for their other brands Pinacho and Remolón). Annual production is 80,000 - 100,000 bottles.
These are warm, generous and deeply dedicated winemakers who have defined a new and exciting genre for Spanish wine.