93 points James Suckling
"Slightly tarry and meaty edges here. Reductive and punchy blackberries and black cherries with crushed violets. Really impressive, fine but powerful tannins on the palate with peppery, blackberry flavors. Sexy juice."
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The first wine to be released from what is surely their finest vintage to date was the 2016 La Bruja de Rozas, a blend from different plots in the village of Las Rozas de Puerto Real in the province of Madrid. I first had it at a restaurant and was simply blown away and ran to buy a few cases for my cellar. This is ethereal, weightless but powerful, intense, transparent, with beautiful aromatics and a silky texture, with the grainy minerality of the granite soils. It's long, pure, available and affordable. It has to be one of the best value wines found in Spain today. Drinkable, in fact, gulpable today, but with the potential to develop in bottle. Bravo, bravo and bravo!"
91 points Wine & Spirits
"This wine’s floral notes slowly emerge from under a dense layer of red fruit, its strawberry flavors deliciously ripe. It has the sharp tannins of garnacha grown in granitic soils, and a nervous and lively acidity that makes it ideal for pork chops"
"Beautifully textured and seductive fruit. Very persistent and juicy. 17/20 points."
Wine of the Week
"We have long sung the praises of old-vine Garnacha from the Gredos Mountains west of Madrid. The first mention of the Gredos Mountains was when we described this 2009 wine of the week, a 2006 red blend made by the talented Dani Landi when he was still at the family outfit Jiménez-Landi.
In 2012, when our Spanish specialist was Luis Gutiérrez, before the sainted Ferran Centelles joined us, we published this introduction to Gredos Garnacha with its tangle of DOs, valleys and provinces. There was this 2015 wine of the week, a Garnacha this time, again made by Dani Landi, swiftly followed by Ferran’s Garnacha – now the height of fashion and, last year, Gredos Pinot-like Garnacha and my Dani Landi goes it alone.
Sorry to sound like a stuck record but I was just enchanted by Comando G, La Bruja de Rozas 2016 when I tried a glass of it with a meal at Brat, Shoreditch, in London recently cooked by the team from the wonderful seafood restaurant Elkano just outside San Sebastian in Spanish Basque country.
It has such seductive fruit – juicy but ethereal, sweet but in a Pinot Noir-like way rather than a sickly way – and also a very fine, sandy texture that seems to communicate the granitic sand on which these ancient Garnacha bush vines are grown. It was so delightfully juicy and persistent that I looked it up on Wine-Searcher.com as soon as we got home and found that in the UK the 2016 is still available from Vin Cognito. But Vin Cognito’s James Bloom told me that Les Caves de Pyrène were the UK importers and that at Vin Cognito they loved the wine so much that ‘we placed an order for 300 bottles in February and received 12, which we’ve been sharing out like Shackleton’s last biscuit'. Vin Cognito, by no means the only UK stockist, expect to move on to the 2017 any minute.
Les Caves kindly and promptly sent me a bottle of Comando G, La Bruja de Rozas 2017 to try and I enjoyed it, while not finding it quite as seductive as the 2016, which may just be a function of age. It had that meaty note that Grenache/Garnacha can often have and seemed just a little less obviously textured. I see that in our 176,000-strong database of tasting notes we have consistently enthusiastic reviews of this wine for vintages 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2017 – and both Ferran and I reckon these wines will drink well for up to five or six years after they were made.
Comando G is a joint enterprise between Dani Landi and Fernando Garcia, who makes wine for Bodega Marañones, thus provider of this white wine of the week in 2011 – oh, I am so predictable… La Bruja de Rozas is the ‘village’-level wine they produce from several vineyards at around 850 m/2,800 ft (really high) with 60- to 70-year-old Garnacha vines around the village of Las Rozas de Puerto Real. I have not tasted the supposedly superior version Rozas 1er Cru but saw someone raving on Twitter about it recently. Here’s how Eric Solomon of European Cellars, provider of the images above, describes it: ‘[a] lithe and winsome example of mountain Garnacha but with a deeper minerality and slightly firmer tannin, hence the Burgundian inspired name'.
The grapes are hand-picked and given a very long maceration of 40 to 60 days and then nine months in big, old oak. The result should delight those looking for well-priced alternatives to the build and delight of red burgundy, even if the flavours and provenance are quite different."
Vinous Reverie Notes
Comando G’s “village” wine, La Bruja de Rozas is sourced from several vineyards in the vicinity of Las Rozas de Puerto Real. Pure Garnacha from granitic sand, La Bruja is perfumed and lively with plenty of fruit with a backbone of acidity and fine tannin. Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation and a long maceration followed by nine months in oak vats. The vineyards that Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia have assembled are all farmed biodynamically. These vines all range in age from 50 to 80 years old and are planted on sandy soils weathered from granite, slate and quartz. A combination of high altitude, freely draining soils, and a mild and fairly humid micro-climate – for central Spain – guarantees a long growing season and a modest alcohol level in the finished wines. The resultant wines are startlingly pale, extraordinarily aromatic and intensely flavorful. Each site is harvested by hand, usually in October, fermented by indigenous yeasts in open top French oak casks then aged in a combination of 500-700L French oak barrels, foudre and clay amphorae.