El Yesal
Garnacha… for great occasions (preferably weekly!)

 

 

A project to rehabilitate centenary vines of Garnacha near Tirapu, a town belonging to the Valdizarbe sub-zone within the DO Navarra.

The plot exposed to strong winds is located on a steep hillside in the region of Yesal, which gives the wine its name: “where we find gypsum”. The soil is relatively unique in the region: very white, rich in magnesium and limestone. It is a poor and arid soil which retains moisture and stays relatively cool.

It is a plot with a wonderful East orientation, but it requires a lot of work because it is cultivated without herbicides and without tilling the soil, while weed control is done with a brush cutter. Only sulfur and copper treatments allow phytosanitary control. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Manual harvest in 16 kg crates. Approximate yield of 2500 kg.

Vinified without additives, fermentation with indigenous yeasts and bacteria, a pure wine without makeup as is the trademark of Luis Moya.

Aging: 7 months aging in used Navarre and French oak barrels. Not clarified. Unfiltered. Minimum dose of sulfur when bottling to allow the wine to be preserved. Bottled, labeled and sealed by hand.

Around 1,500 bottles produced for the 2018 vintage bottled in January 2020.

Reviews

Vintage 2017

  • The red Garnacha 2017 El Yesal was produced with grapes from an ancient plot of vines on limestone-rich soils (“yeso” means gypsum in the Spanish language, and “yesal” is a place where you have yeso). It’s from 0.5 hectares on a slope, and the grapes fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in 300- and 500-liter oak barrels (one of each) for seven months, but they always keep the wine for two winters in the winery. It has a very characteristic nose that I sometimes find in Garnacha from very warm years, with a mixture of soy sauce and malted cereals with a peaty/smoky twist reminiscent of some malt whiskey. It’s heady, aromatic and showy, floral and a little decadent. The palate reveals fine-grained, chalky tannins and very tasty flavors, with an almost salty finish.
    Only 1,100 bottles were filled in January 2019.
    92 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #248 (Apr. 2020)