0 immediate, 30 marketplace
Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2010 El Terroir is a barrel selection of the argilo-calcareous Garnacha vineyards, which is hitting it on all cylinders, with a floral, red and black berry aromas, as well as balsamic notes with just hints of spices and smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a silky texture that makes it very pleasant and easy to drink. Drinking beautifully today, it should last quite a bit. Drink 2016-2021. ||Domaines Lupier is the name of the project of husband and wife Enrique Basarte and Elisa Ucar. They are from Pamplona and started searching for old-vine Garnacha vineyards in different zones of Spain, but were finally convinced that what they were looking for was close to home, in Navarra. They walked the vineyards and chewed hundreds of grapes to make sure they had the quality of tannins they were looking for and they finally found it in the village of San Martin de Unx (plus a small one in Olite). The vines range from 68 years old to over 100 years old (the oldest vineyard they have is from 1903). They have 17 hectares in 27 separate plots. Altitudes vary, and so does the soil composition, it’s basically argilo-calcareous, but the amount of chalk, clay and gravel differs from plot to plot. They also purchased a large house in the village where they live and have their 50,000-bottle winery. They sold their grapes until 2008, when they bottled their first vintage. 2008 was a cold year, similar to 2010 (and the future 2013), while 2009 was warmer and riper, more in line with 2011 and 2012. But while there was a heat wave in 2009, the heat and drought during 2011 was much more prolonged. All their vineyards are head-pruned and dry-farmed, which absorbs the effect of the heat and drought and delivers more balanced grapes. As 2008 was their first vintage, they were forced to use 100% new oak, but the idea is to renew 10% of the wood each year. They are also moving toward larger containers (400, 500, 650 and 1,500-liter) as they see the wood-to-fruit ratio needed for Garnacha is lower than for other varieties. Fermentation is in stainless steel and open barrels, part full-cluster. I spent some time visiting their vineyards and, besides tasting the current 2010s, I had the chance to preview the recently bottled 2011s (where they discarded 40% of the harvest and achieved great results avoiding the raisiny character of the year). I also previewed barrel samples of 2012 and 2013, and the future looks bright for Lupier. 2010 is a balanced, fresh and elegant vintage, and their wines experienced a quantum leap from previous years. They feel much more integrated and balanced, more in harmony with the oak, and are highly recommended. They are growing and improving with each vintage. This is a name to follow. eRobertParker.com.June, 2014
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