Southeast of the somewhat better known regions of La Rioja and Castilla Y Léon
is the town and designated wine region of Calatayud. Nestled in the province of
Zaragoza, part of the medieval kingdom of Aragon, 5,600 hectares of vineyards
stretch out along the south-facing slopes of the Sierra de la Virgen mountain
range and along the winding Ebro River valley. The namesake for this area can
be traced back to the Moorish occupation of Spain, when local governor Ayud,
had built a fortress called a Qalat situated where the current town now stands.
With even older history and early vinicultural traditions recorded by local poet
Marco Valerio Marcial, commissioned by roman Caesars Titus and Dominicus,
wine has been made here for about 2,500 years.
More recently, due to significant investment and the upgrading of facilities, the
enterprising vintners of the Calatayud DO now produce over 14 million liters of
wine annually, though are still challenged to establish a reputation and position
in the export market. Fortunately for local buyers here, this translates into very
competitive prices for classic, old world wine fashioned from 100% Garnacha
vines that are in many cases are over 100 years old!
Bodegas Langa, with its own rich family history, has staked a relatively new claim
nearby to Mount Vicor (circa 1982) and is bio-dynamically farming grapes here
without the use of either chemical fertilizers, insecticides or weed killers. An arid
landscape challenges the deeply rooted vines to extract the necessary nutrients
and moisture from the rocky limestone soil, resulting in characterful grapes and
wine. After harvest, a combination of old and contemporary techniques sees the
fruit fermented in stainless steel vats during several stages of around 20 days
each (with naturally present yeast) then transferred to American oak barrels for
an additional 11 months of ageing before bottling.
Generally, this unfussy production style with less filtering and handling, results
in an earthy, soft and unusually dark Garnacha wine style. Year in and out, it’s
a perennial LCBO Vintages favourite and certainly will be on many best-buy lists
again – buy one to try before quickly stocking up on as many as you can afford!
LANGA TRADICION CENTENARIA GARNACHA 2012
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #194795 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 14.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Made in: Calatayud, Spain
By: Bodegas Langa Hnos
Release Date: June 13, 2015
Full bodied aromas of red fruit and spice with flavour replays of cherry, raspberry
and some smoky notes. Very smooth and rounded. Will complement most red
meats, slow cooked BBQ ribs, roasted poultry and strong cheeses.