[Manuel Manzaneque->http://www.manuelmanzaneque.com/] started out as a movie actor. While on his way to becoming a wine maker, he was also the Director of one of his own theatre companies, eventually moving the entire company around the world while they performed their plays. Later in life, he came into the wine world and became one of the first to gain the now coveted Vino de Pago DO designation for his vineyard Finca Ãƒâ€°lez.
On the 19th of July 2002, Fina de Ãƒâ€°lez was granted the first DO status ever given to a single vineyard. Pago, meaning “single vineyard”, is the term used to describe certain vineyards that rise above the rest showing unique qualities inherent only to themselves. In the case of Finca de Ãƒâ€°lez, those qualities are the high altitude (approx 3000 ft and located in the Sierra de Alcaraz) with a continental climate. The soil the grapes are planted in have light quaternary sediments on hard layers of chalk. In total, Finca de Ãƒâ€°lez is situated on 33 hectares of vineyards growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. Currently they are producing 5 different wines:
Manuel Manzaneque Finca Ãƒâ€°lez Crianza
Manuel Manzaneque Reserva
Manuel Manzaneque Gran Reserva
Manuel Manzaneque Chardonnay
Manuel Manzaneque Syrah
The other day, I ran across a good price on the Finca Ãƒâ€°lez Crianza and thought I’d give it a try!
- 2002 Manuel Manzaneque Finca Ãƒâ€°lez Crianza Finca Elez – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Finca Elez (8/15/2005)
The color is of deep maroonish purple and thick viscous legs. Nose of dried plums and rich fruit, cherries, light vanilla, light earth, pine like resin, and distinct bell pepper. As it opens, smoky rich oak starts to come to the front, though not overpoweringly. The bottle says it’s Primarily Tempranillo with Cab Sauv and Merlot but the nose is less Tempranillo than the other two combined. Soft in the mouth with a firm acid and tannins that while strong and present don’t come rushing to the front of the palate, but rather lend support to the fruit and spices. First off, it tastes more of the Tempranillo though overall it does not stand out on it’s own with the Merlot and Cab playing more of a leading role. Soft overall, this wine has nice structure and a medium to full body. Flavors of cherry, plum, bell pepper, light cedar, and a strong spice component I can’t seem to put my finger on. This is a wine that might smooth out a bit more and begin to integrate it’s many components with a few more years in bottle.
c5a12t16o6=89 (89 pts.)
A side note on websites: At the top of this article, I linked to Finca de Ãƒâ€°lez’s website. I only mention this so that I can apologize. I try to link to all websites that have info that relates to any given article that I publish, even if they are poorly designed. Using Flash can be a very beautiful and smooth way for people to view the web; however, they can also make sites hard to navigate. No matter how well-designed they are, they need to make sense. If you are willing to pay to have a professional build your site, make sure you are willing to pay to have a professional translate your site. This particular site has places where the English is so poorly written, I can’t even be sure of what they were hoping to say. It’s a pity because consequentely, people tend not to take a very serious winery, well, very serious!