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Old-Vine Garnacha

Domaines Lupier El Terroir Garnacha, Navarra 2010

Elisa and Enrique tasting grapes in one of their ancient vineyards

Elisa and Enrique tasting grapes in one of their ancient vineyards

It is fair to say that the husband-andwife-team behind Domaines Lupier, Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar, are garnacha fanatics. Enrique, who studied agronomy at university, fell in love with wine whilst a student and spent 15 years working in wineries across Spain, graduating as an oenologist from the university of Rioja before embarking on his own project with his wife. Elisa, who holds an MBA and is a keen artist, has more than 17 years’ experience working in the wine sector.

The passion they share is dedicated to one grape only, garnacha (otherwise known as grenache in, especially, the southern Rhône), and together they sought out parcels of old vines which were steadily being grubbed up as a result of EU subsidies. They wanted to save their vinous patrimony and the thousands of different biotypes that would have been lost; if they had waited any longer it would have been too late. They searched the entire country, chewing grapes (the only way to determine their quality, they say) to find the best plots, eventually ending up close to home with 27 parcels of bush vines in an around Saint Martín de Unx in Navarra. When they had established the potential ‘premier’ and ‘grand cru’ vineyards, they then tracked down the owners to buy them up. Most of the plots are at altitude (between 400m and 750m – they call them ‘mountain wines’ with good reason) with an average age of 84 years, the oldest dating back to 1903. Though the soils are predominantly limestone-based, here too there are subtle differences between each plot.

Enrique and Elisa firmly believe that the potential of garnacha, once the most widely planted grape in Navarra, hasn’t been realised. The concentrated juice produced from old vines grown in the right place reveal it in its true colours. They say that, like pinot noir, the grape is capable of reflecting nuances of terroir with incredible finesse.

Ensuring that this treasury of venerable old vines fulfils its potential involves Elisa and Enrique working closely with nature in the vineyards, every day and with enthusiasm. This is something that they love and have decided that the best way to achieve the balance between man and nature is to work their land biodynamically. Their first vintage was 2008 and their wines are getting better and better every year, as this passionate pair of winemakers endeavour to show the world just how great garnacha can be. These are definitely winemakers to watch.

The 2010 El Terroir Garnacha from Domaines Lupier (14.5% alc) shows great intensity of dense, ripe black fruit with a fresh mineral lift to the flavour. Decant an hour or so before serving to allow the flavours to open up and serve with a rich lamb tagine, cottage pie or wild mushroom stroganoff. Try a bottle at the special Explore price of £12.95 instead of £16 until Sunday, 30th October 2016. One bottle only per member at this price. Please quote the full reference code, including the ‘NE’ prefix to obtain the special price online. Ref NE-SP11131.

Domaines Lupier El Terroir Garnacha, Navarra 2010

Domaines Lupier El Terroir Garnacha, Navarra 2010

The 2010 El Terroir Garnacha from Domaines Lupier (14.5% alc) shows great intensity of dense, ripe black fruit with a fresh mineral lift to the flavour. Decant an hour or so before serving to allow the flavours to open up and serve with a rich lamb tagine, cottage pie or wild mushroom stroganoff. Try a bottle at the special Explore price of £12.95 instead of £16 until Sunday, 30th October 2016.

One bottle only per member at this price. Please quote the full reference code, including the ‘NE’ prefix to obtain the special price online. Ref NE-SP11131


Domaines Lupier El Terroir Garnacha, Navarra 2010

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