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Los Bermejos, Listan Negro Tinto Maceración Carbónica,
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain 2008

There is always something fun and interesting in the bag when Keven from Farm Wine Imports stops by. Today, as usual, he brought an assortment of great wines, but the one that stood out as the most unique and truly memorable was a red wine from the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

As you can see from the picture above, this special place is one of the most picturesque grape-growing regions in the world. Each individual vine is planted in crater-like holes in the black volcanic soil and surrounded by a semi-circle stone wall to protect it from the wind. Not exactly the vineyard scene most people who have visited Tuscany or Napa Valley might expect, but grapes have been grown here for centuries and it is a true oenological and ecological treasure.

The tiny Bodega Los Bermejos was founded in 2001 and produces only 500 cases of wine annually. This particular cuvée, made from an indigenous grape called Listan Negro, has both fantastic complexity and a delightful freshness. Pure, bright cherry and strawberry fruit (accentuated by the use of carbonic maceration) are complimented by a fantastic herbal note and a distinctive smoky, ashy tone surely derived from the unique soils mentioned above. Light-bodied, but with nice intensity and a great, long finish, this will be fantastic heading into the warmer weather and will be on the menu starting next week and featured during the 2010 Oceanic Dinners in June!

For more tasting notes visit the Oliveto Wine Journal