95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha
Antonio Sanz founded this estate in April 1989, with the help of two of his friends and fellow wine lovers, and it has gone on to achieve great popularity, particularly for its work with the lesser-known graciano grape native to the Navarra region. It is now run by the second generation of the Sanz family, brothers Xabi and Iñaki, who oversee sales and winemaking respectively. The brothers have injected a new lease of life into the portfolio, and were both responsible for creating the highly successful Zorzal wine range. The modern winery is in the village of Corella, in the Ribero Baja area of Navarra, the region which borders Rioja. It is a fertile area known for its wine, fruit and farming, with a Mediterranean climate and sun-drenched slopes bordering the river Ebro, making for excellent grape growing conditions. The Sanz family has 70 hectares of vines, some of which – including the graciano and garnacha used for the Zorzal range we buy – are over 35 years old. As well as graciano and garnacha, the estate grows tempranillo, mazuelo, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. In the winery, the team works hard to preserve the natural fruity character of its wines. To that end, the wines are fermented in stainless-steel tanks and the garnacha remains completely unoaked, whereas the graciano spends just four months in French oak.
What The Critics Say
92/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Luis Gutierrez
"There are two new single vineyard Garnacha bottlings, starting with the impressive 2015 Malayeto, 2.39 hectares of vines averaging 35 years of age; the vines are planted at 520 meters altitude on limestone rich soils in the village of Fitero. It fermented in 3,500-liter French oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in French barriques for nine months. It's subtle, elegant and quite transparent, with a bright ruby color, a nose of red berries and spices and a sleek palate with marked flavors and a subdued minerality. A superb Garnacha for the price. 10,750 bottles were filled in December 2016. -- I noticed a nice progression in the wines from Viña Zorzal (do not confuse it with the project from the Michelini brothers in Mendoza, Argentina). They are advised by Jorge Navascues from Cariñena. They work mostly with vineyards in the higher altitude village of Fitero, some of them amazingly old. They are clearly on the way up, with better wines each vintage, irrespective of the character of the year. There is a big change in 2015, but what I tasted from barrel and tank from 2016 was even better. The best is yet to come. Clearly one of the names to watch in Navarra." Drink 2017 - 2020
91/100 Decanter (2013 vintage)
"A splendid Garnacha of depth and complexity, showing ripe plums, black cherries, liquorice and earthy notes plus hints of balsamic. From very old vines in a cooler, high-altitude area, it is focused on the palate and supported by grainy fine tannins, fresh acidity and a long length. Great value!"
16.5/20 JancisRobinson.com (2013 vintage)
"A single-vineyard bottling from the Zorzal team in Navarra. High-elevation (500 m) old-vine Garnacha. Deep cherry red. Fine herby fruit and marked tannins for a Grenache, I guess due to the elevation of the vineyard. A slight smoky reductive quality on the palate, excellent structure and shape. Serious wine for a very reasonable price. Don’t expect a soft/sweet Grenache though. Should age well. Utterly moreish. (JH)."
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