Friday, November 12, 2021

2017 Fronton de Oro Tinto: Wine From the Canary Islands

Over 25 years ago, I toured a vineyard in the Canary Islands and was taken by its uniqueness. Vines were placed into circular enclosures, surrounded by a short wall of stone, to protect them from the intense Sahara winds. And the wines were very tasty. I didn't appreciate wine as much at that time, and I'd love to return there to better explore their vineyards and wineries. 

Fortunately, some Canary Island wines are available locally and they are well worth your exploration. Recently, I enjoyed a bottle of the 2017 Fronton de Oro Tinto (about $20). I'll buy more of it and recommend it to my readers as well.  

In the 1970s, D. Antonio Ramirez established an estate in the hills of La Lechuza on Gran Canaria, planting vines and vegetables. His sons, Pedro and Antonio, who have been operating the estate since the early 2000s have transformed it into about 6 hectares of vineyards and a winery, concentrating on indigenous grapes. The estate name, “Fronton de Oro,” refers to a huge rock that shines with sunlight. The vineyards, which are organic (although not certified) are planted at high elevation, many over 3,000 feet, and the soil is primarily volcanic/clay.

The 2017 Fronton de Oro Tinto is a blend of Listán Negro and Tintilla de Rota (also known as Graciano). Listán Negro is the primary red grape of the Canary Islands, and is known for being aromatic. Tintilla de Rota is well known throughout Spain, and also is known for its aromatics. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then aged in mostly used American oak for about three months. With only a 13.5% ABV, only about 4,000 cases of this wine are produced. 

This is a medium-red colored wine, with an appealing nose of red fruits, floral notes, and hints of spice. On the palate, there's a freshness to the wine, with delicious and juicy tastes of cherry, blackberry, and plum. Good acidity, nicely balanced, a hint of earthiness, and on the finish, there's a nice peppery kick. With a nice complexity, this wine very much appealed to me. It would pair well with burgers to pizza, barbecue to salmon. Seek out this wine!

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