100% Garnacha. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Sierre de Gredos is one of our favorite wine regions in the whole world and it deserves more recognition! Our story starts on the eastern edge of Spain’s Sierra de Gredos mountains, where a renowned Madrid doctor named Vincente Alvarez-Villamil purchased land in 1923. The site, which at that time was a full day’s travel from Madrid, spoke of its Celtic past, with ancient bears carved from boulders to mark forests dedicated to the hunt goddess. But the estate, which Vincente named Bernabeleva, or bear’s forest, held more than just ancient history. It was, he believed, a special place to plant the noble Garnacha and a place whose wines might exhibit profound character. In 2006, Vincente’s great-grandchild, Juan Diez Bulnes, vowed to fulfill his ancestor’s dream. The estate’s vineyards were now 80 years old, and there were Garnacha vineyards to purchase from neighboring properties as well. Rejecting then-current fashions in Spanish wine, the cousins resolved to make wines of purity and expressiveness that were in harmony with the beauty of their ancestral land. Juan wanted, above all, to protect the unique personality of his family estate, and he initially hired consultant, Raúl Pérez, a master of cool-climate winemaking and a producer we also love, to help develop the project. Understanding Bernabeleva’s potential, Raúl recommended that the gifted young Catalan, Marc Isart Pinos, come in as winemaker. Marc employs long macerations, limited usage of SO2, and aging in used barrels with a minimalist touch in the cellar. The Navaherreros Tinto is selected from the oldest and best parcels throughout the estate. It sees a much longer maceration—often exceeding 40 days—and it typically spends an additional year in neutral wood before release. This is a lovely wine that’s a step above their Camino, while showing the treasures of Sierre de Gredos in a clearer picture.