El Escocés Volante, the ‘Flying Scotsman’, is the winemaking company set up in Calatayud by Norrel Robertson MW who has been based there since 2003. Norrel has been able to work with individual growers for the last seven years to source high altitude, old vine blocks of exceptional quality and make wines with real character. The winery philosophy is to sustain the lifestyle of the local growers. All fruit is hand-picked and selected to maintain the traditional methods of the Ribota valley and surrounding villages. Vines are only grubbed up when they become extremely unproductive and the growers have a positive replanting philosophy.
Norrel has been making wine in Spain for over 12 years and is currently the only Master of Wine living and working in Spain. The winery currently own nine hectares of Old Vine Garnacha and also has long-standing contracts with local grape growers. Norrel was born and raised in Scotland and, after graduating from Aberdeen University with a MA Honours degree in Politics and International Relations, has joined the wine industry, which he has remained in for the last 20 years, starting in sales, buying and product development. In the 1990s, Norrel decided to pursue a career in winemaking and decided the best way was to work and learn from the cellar up. Norrel went on to work vintages in Chianti in Italy, Portugal, Australia, France and Chile. From 1998 to 2000, Norrel embarked on the Master of Wine Course and became a Master of Wine in November 2000, winning the Robert Mondavi Award for the best overall theory performance in the exam. In 2002-2003 Norrel studied the Postgraduate Viticulture and Oenology course at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, obtaining his postgraduate qualification with distinction. In 2003, he moved to Spain to as Winemaker for International Wine Services and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud, Aragon and decided to start making his own wines. His company – El Escocés Volante – took off and Norrel now currently produces many award winning wines made from very specially selected vineyards at high altitude in Aragon, Spain and also has winemaking projects in Murcia, Andalucia and Galicia. His own wines are sold in over 15 markets He also consults for many other high profile wineries in Spain and also consults to import businesses in the US and the UK.
The grapes were hand harvested between October 4th and 16th 2013, from old bush vines. The fruit was then crushed and destemmed, before temperature-controlled alcoholic fermentation took place in concrete vats, at to 25C for seven days. The must underwent bazuqeo, punchdown and delestage for colour and tannin extraction, followed by a short maceration. Only the free-run wine from pressing was used and it underwent full malolactic fermentation. Minimal fining and filtration was used.
The chalk and clay soils are situated on the slopes of the Ribota valley of the Calatayud DO at an altitude of 700-900m above sea level. Free draining soils combined with minimal rainfall and significant differences in day and night time temperature gives rise to wines with excellent colour, aroma and distinctive varietal aromas. An average vine age of well over 45 years, combined with the unique microclimate has ensured great concentration of fruit from extremely small yields (circa 20hl/ha).
This wine has been made as a bold, modern, fruit-driven expression of the Garnacha variety. Rich purple in colour, this wine has intense raspberry, cherry and prune flavours, with complex notes of spice and leather. Full bodied with fine, soft tannins and well-balanced, the primary fruit gives way to a long, smooth, spicy finish. Perfect for chorizo/paprika-based dishes.