Armas de Guerra Roble 2016
Castilla y León, Spain
Armas de Guerra is the oldest winery in Bierzo and one of the oldest wineries in Spain, established way back in 1879. It translates as "Weapons of War", alluding to their annual battle against the elements to keep their vineyards (which on average are 50-years-old) healthy and make the best possible wines.
They have stuck with tradition and champion the local grapes of Bierzo, an ancient region famed for its slate-rich mountain vineyards and which first saw winegrowing in Roman times. Armas de Guerra's vineyards are typically 500 metres or more above sea level. Climatically it marries the cooler Atlantic influence of coastal Galicia with the hotter conditions inland in Castilla y Léon.
Their Roble (which denotes it is oak aged) is from 65-85 year old Mencía bushvines at altitudes of 450-600 metres, planted on clay and slate. The fermentation takes place in concrete tanks then the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 4 months, so the oak influence is not enormous but it does add that toasty touch.
The wine is cherry red with ripe fruity, floral aroma. Texture is rounded and velvety and it finishes rich and earthy.