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Finca Antigua Unico Crianza, La Mancha 2013

Red Wine from Spain - La Mancha
A good old-fashioned Spanish style of wine made by a talented team, this velvety tempranillo-cabernet-merlot blend is mellow, smoky, savoury and wonderfully well integrated after maturation in old oak barrels.
Price: £9.95 Bottle
Price: £59.50 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: SP14681

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Tempranillo
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Bouquet/flavour marked by oak
  • Drinking now
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

La Mancha

The name La Mancha is derived, like so many Spanish place names, from a Moorish word meaning ‘parched earth’. This goes a long way to summing up the conditions for vines in this arid flat plain atop Spain’s great ‘Meseta’ plateau. It is Europe’s largest demarcated wine region and is thus by far Spain’s largest Denominación de Origen and lies to the south of Madrid.

In the summer daytime temperatures can reach 44oc and then plummet at night. Winter frosts are not uncommon and at any time of year winds can blow fiercely and unopposed across the plains. Despite these seemingly unpromising conditions La Mancha has always produced a huge amount of wine, in fact it once yielded half of all Spanish wine production, mostly from the airén grape that was so widely planted in La Mancha, so much in fact that it is the most planted grape variety in the world. Much of it was destined for distillation or export for blending, but the last three decades have seen something of a revolution in quality...
The name La Mancha is derived, like so many Spanish place names, from a Moorish word meaning ‘parched earth’. This goes a long way to summing up the conditions for vines in this arid flat plain atop Spain’s great ‘Meseta’ plateau. It is Europe’s largest demarcated wine region and is thus by far Spain’s largest Denominación de Origen and lies to the south of Madrid.

In the summer daytime temperatures can reach 44oc and then plummet at night. Winter frosts are not uncommon and at any time of year winds can blow fiercely and unopposed across the plains. Despite these seemingly unpromising conditions La Mancha has always produced a huge amount of wine, in fact it once yielded half of all Spanish wine production, mostly from the airén grape that was so widely planted in La Mancha, so much in fact that it is the most planted grape variety in the world. Much of it was destined for distillation or export for blending, but the last three decades have seen something of a revolution in quality and style.

In the 1970s pioneering companies established modern wineries and made clean, fresh, light white wines that were a success all over Europe. Needless to say, this encouraged many more to begin to look more closely at what can be done in the region and tempranillo began to increase in plantings alongside the almost indestructible airen, but there are many varieties grown in the region, from newcomers like cabernet sauvignon and merlot to Spanish natives like macabeu, albillo, parellada, garnacha and monastrell . There are now many fine reds made in La Mancha and its sub-regions, such as Valdepenas and Mentrida.

A feature of the vineyard plantings of La Mancha is the wide spacing of the vines and the low training of each plant on the sandy red-brown soils dusted with chalky limestone deposits. 2.5 metres surround each vine so that it does not compete with it’s neighbours for scant water resources, and the low training allows the leaves to shade bunches during the fierce heat of daytime while holding in any moisture. Getting enough sunshine is rarely a problem but, naturally enough, drought conditions can be. On the bright side there are few pests or fungal diseases to trouble growers and indeed many are smallholders who only devote themselves to their vineyards on a part-time basis and sell their grapes to companies or local cooperatives.
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Finca Antigua

La Mancha is a vast region responsible for some of Spain’s best-value but, quite often, unpredictable wines. In recent years quality has improved thanks to better technology and stricter controls in the vineyards. Finca Antigua, established in 1998, has been a leader in this progress. Their modern facilities, set amongst an impressive vineyard of 1,000 hectares, produces some of La Mancha’s tastiest reds.

Spain Vintage 2013

Rioja had a difficult, challenging vintage. A cold spring developed into a summer interspersed with frequent rain. As a result there was much uneven ripening. However, things look promising as the harvest was protracted and the fruit that did ripen had plenty of time to do so, though hail at vintage time caused considerable damage (Contino picked just 10% of their crop). Those who picked before late rains made attractive, fresh and vibrant wines. Ribera del Duero had a cooler time of it over the growing season than is usual but in their case it led to good, even ripening across the board, with concentration and flavour being balanced by freshness and structure. In Priorato too, cooler conditions have led to wines with lovely fruit and freshness and the ability to age very well.
2013 vintage reviews
2012 vintage reviews
2011 vintage reviews

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