Baltasar Gracián was a Spanish Jesuit who wrote El Criticón. Apparently its famous, but wed never heard of it. When we looked it up on Wikipedia wed almost lost the will to live within four lines of the explanation. Luckily this wine is far more interesting, fresh and vibrant. El Criticón means the critic or the faultfinder; well this we love this juicy, chunky and spicy old vines Grenache so much that we challenge the critics to find fault in it.
This is a great food wine, rich ripe and full of character just like the food of Spain. Bodegas San Alejandro is a co-operative founded in 1962 with 1,200 hectares of vineyard in Calatayud in north-eastern Spain. The vineyards and long growing season in this area attracted French consultant Jean-Marc Lafage and his team to venture south from Château Saint Roch in Roussillon, France.
Baltasar Gracián is the name of one of the most important writers of the 17th century, born in Belmonte de Gracián, a village near Miedes, where the winery also owns vineyards. San Alejandro is run by a passionate, young and dynamic team, all totally mad about wine. The vineyards lie at an extremely high altitude of between 800-1100m above sea level. While the days are sunny, the night time temperatures are cool, giving a juicy, fresh, aromatic character to the reds. The growing season is long meaning that the fruit ripens gradually, and the sugar levels and tannins balance each other nicely.
The grapes are grown on vines with an average age of 80 years, giving big concentration of flavour. The grapes were cold soaked prior to fermentation. After fermentation the wine was left on the skins for a further 21 days to beef the wine up further. The wine was then aged small oak barrels (60% American and 40% French) for 11 months. This gives a combination of spice, vanilla and chocolate notes. As you would expect this is a dark wine with aromas of spices, kirsch and blueberries. It's smooth but astonishingly complex and concentrated. We recommend this with rich rice dishes like paella, spicy chorizo or roasted peppers and aubergines.
View Larger Map