How Well Does Dehesa la Granja Ages?
Wine Review of a 17-year-old Dehesa La Granja by Grupo Pesquera: How Good is 2001 Alejandro Fernandez ‘Dehesa 14’ Vino de la Tierra from Castilla y Leon, Spain?
Clearly, it’s not often you get to taste a 17-year-old Vino de la Tierra, or table wine from Spain.
But this is not ordinary Vino de la Tierra.
Dehesa la Granja ‘Dehesa 14’ is an special selection aged wine from Alejandro Fernández’ Zamora estate in North Eastern Spain, on the banks of the River Guareña and released after no less than 14 years of ageing in the bodega’s 1767 underground cellars.
The first-ever vintage of Dehesa 14 that was release was 1998.
More recent vintages of Dehesa La Granja wines are called simply Dehesa La Granja and are aged for about ten years before release (current vintage for sale is 2008 Dehesa la Granja).
This wine was made from 100% Tempranillo and from vines averaging 25 years of age. Dehesa la Granja’s vineyards are located in the south west of Zamora province on the Dehesa la Granja estate, with a total of 800 hectares under cultivation (of which 120 are vineyards) on sandstone, clay and silty limestone sediments with superficial calcareous soils. Altitude here is around 620-750 m above sea level.
Climate is extreme continental with arid Atlantic influences, and low annual precipitation around 350 to 400 mm.
The 2001 vintage though reviewed here, was marked by a mild and wet climate with the heaviest rainfall of the last few decades.
After fermentation in tanks, Dehesa 14 was matured for 24 months in American oak barrels.
Overall Wine Review & Tasting Impressions
Vintage 2001 is the perfect demonstration that Dehesa la Granja can age superbly. It might actually be even more enjoyable, surprisingly-enough with 17 years of age than in a recent vintage.
Depth and complexity, layers of sweet/savory flavors and aromas have developed here, keeping enough fruit freshness to be enjoyable, for an absolutely superb balance, smoothness and overall harmony.
A delight of an aged wine. Probably at its peak right now. Drink within 2-3 years.
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Full Tasting Notes
This Castellan red comes in a pretty dark red color, with a garnet hue, filled with intense red color complemented by hints of orange. It does look like a wine that has evolved, but not like it’s 17 years old. Still looking vivid in color and vibrant!
Its nose is, at first sniff, very deep, imposing and intriguing.
It is filled such intense grilled meat aromas, spicy black pepper as well as ripe blackberry and cherry aromas, that it delivers a fascinating sweet savory smell. Somewhat like pork ribs marinated in soy sauce, herbs and pepper, and grilled on a wood-fired barbecue it smells like, but with salivating ripe red berry fruit notes as well.
Put the wine in your mouth, and you’ll be stroke but the smoothness of its tannins.
They are soft and silky, backed up by an oily coating body. Flavors explode with big intensity from the mid-palate on, and delight from their sheer complexity. Clearly this is a wine that’s aged, developing a wealth of meaty, herbal and spicy notes, wood leather and forest flour. Yet, the fruit character is still utterly present, providing intense freshness and balancing the whole for an enjoyable sweet savory feel.
Long and layered finish, salivating from slightly drying and bitter tannins, yet a sensation of fruity sweetness, plenty of caramel and licorice flavors.
A wine to experience Dehesa La Granja 14 certainly is…