Andalucia, region in Spain.
Terroir: John Radford (Wine Report: 2007, p131) says ‘there has always been a popular supposition that anything south of Madrid and everything south of La Mancha was roasted rubbish, shrivelled on the vine by the merciless sun, etc. What people forget is that eastern Andalucia is the most mountainous part of Spain (including Spain’s highest peak, Mulhacén, at 3, 482 m (11,424 ft) and has the second-highest vineyards in Europe. The combination of merciless sun all day and a massive temperature drop at night allows wines of quite astonishing quality. The Alpujarra mountains are a particularly high-quality area, split between Contraviesa-Alpujarra in the province of Granada and Laujar-Alpujarra in the province of Almeria, with vineyards to 1,368 m (4,488 ft; Barranco Oscuro [see link below]) making nearly mile-high wines of an extraordinary complexity, especially whites from the Vigiriega grape (extinct everywhere else on the mainland) and reds from Tempranillo, Granacha, and Cabernet Savignon. The soil is schist, and there are no insect pests and almost no cryptogams at these altitudes.’
Doug Wregg says ‘the key to making red wine in Andalusia, where it is not unusual for summer temperatures to reach 40°C (104°F) in the shade, is to protect the vines from the ravages of the heat. As a result, growers have sought out high lands where there are cooling breezes and the soils are acid and balanced. But this has led them to rugged terrain and steep slopes in areas such as the Alpujarra (Granada/Almeria), the mountainous parts to the north of Seville and the Ronda mountains (Málaga), which are gradually being planted again with vines. And most of these vines are red varieties.’
No certification: Barranco Oscuro.
Doug Wregg, Caves de Pyrene list July 2011
John Radford, Wine Report 2007 ed.Tom Stevenson (Dorling Kindersley, 2006), p.131.