Bodegas Ejeanas brings the boysenberry thunder with this “Night Harvest” Garnacha from the Laberne Vineyard in Aragon, Spain. Pass the tapas and then cork another bottle, because at this price, the party goes all night long.
The Featured Wine of Episode 88: AITA Stories, Part 2
Putting The “Night” in Uva Nocturna Night Harvest
Uva Nocturna literally translates to “night grape,” which is a reference to when the grapes are harvested. Workers descend upon the vineyards before dawn when those juicy, ripe red berries peak on the acidity curve. This way, the clusters are off to press before the sun rises, assuring maximum freshness.
As you know, I’m a huge Garnacha fan. I’m also really into Grenache. this is because they’re the same thing. Ahhhh, languages! In Spain, the varietal is called Garnacha, and the Spanish expression of this varietal is one of my favorites. In the glass, the wine is vivid, with a deep shade of lipstick cherry red with purple & blue reflections. Dollops of boysenberry jam, a heaping serving of cherry pie, and some vanilla creme all leap from the glass. On the palate, it’s nothing but rich, velvety, and playful fruit to infuse you with pure joy in every sip. Soft tannins add subtle structure, while the juicy acidity keeps the finish fresh and harmonious.
The Spanish wine revolution continues to gain momentum, and it’s no wonder. The value proposition here is simply amazing. Bodegas Ejeanas has redefined “over delivering” especially with reds like this. Even if you think you knew Grenache, think again.
Bodegas Ejeanas Garnacha Tasting Profile
Look: Bright, with a deeper shade of lipstick cherry red, with purple/blue reflections
Smell: Raspberry jam, cherry pie, and vanilla all leap from the glass filling the room
Taste: Rich, velvety, gentle, caressing the palate with soft tannins giving subtle structure
Finish: Juicy acidity keeps it fresh, long, and harmonious, in a ripe, fruit-centered style
Pairing: Wash down a colorful spread of your favorite homemade pintxos or tapas with this; it can handle all!
Winemaking at Bodegas Ejeanas
Bodegas Ejeanas was founded in 2003, in the village of Ejea de Los Caballeros The family began purchasing vineyards in the 1980s, with no real serious plans for producing their own wines. After years of producing high-quality grapes for other bodegas, they began anew with their own wines, centered with Garnacha and picking at night (UVA Nocturna).
Workers hand-select fruit from 25-year-old Garnacha vines at Laberne. Cold temperature maceration occurs for 8 days. This is followed by a gentle pressing in order to obtain the best free-run juice. The wine is stainless tank fermented, then bottled for 6 months before release.
The barrel room uses ozone injection equipment to guarantee the cleanliness and quality of the wines. Ozone acts as a disinfectant and disappears without a trace. It prevents the development of any microorganism in the barrels without damaging the wood.
WINEMAKER: Carmen Tenías
VARIETAL: 100% Garnacha (Grenache)
APPELLATION: VdlT Ribera del Gállego-Cinco Villas, Aragón
VINEYARD: Laberne Estate Vineyard
ELEVATION: 1,476 feet
VINE AGE: 25 years average
YIELDS: 2.2 tons/acre
AGING: 12 months
VESSELS: 100% stainless steel
Cinco Villas and The Laberne Vineyard
Bodegas Ejeanas supplies itself with grapes from its own vineyards located in the Cinco Villas region.
The Laberne Vineyard lies in dry land and saso (high plain with stones and clay), suitable for growing grapes when accompanied by drip irrigation. It is located at an altitude of 400 meters and based around a swamp that produces a special microclimate for the development of the grapes. Here you’ll find Garnacha, Tempranillo (Clone of Tinta de Toro), Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, and Moscatel.
The climate is “extreme continental.” In other words, it’s very cold in winter and hot in summer with maximum temperatures close to 104 F. Although rainfall can be heavy, the water is not fully usable because the land cannot soak it all in quickly enough. The water gets lost in natural canyons or ponds.
In addition to the night harvest, Bodegas Ejeanas has incorporated the “Cromoenos method.” This system allows the winemaker to predict the optimal state of maturity of the tannins, which in turn effects the aromatic profile of the wines. The most important thing to obtaining a good wine is to start with quality raw material, which the Laberne Vineyard has is spades!