Bernabeleva Navaherreros Grenache paired with spicy black bean tacos

Hidden between the hills in San Martin de Valdeiglesias, an area that lies to the southwest of Madrid, the estate of Bernabeleva enjoys a beautiful climate and soil ideal for growing grapes, particularly Grenache grapes.

The estate was bought in 1923 by a Madrid doctor named Vincente Alvarez Villamil, who envisioned making wine with exceptional quality in this beautiful setting.

It was revealed that the area also had an ancient mythological time. The land is filled with substantial old Celtic designs of bears. Vincente called his property Bernabeleva, which translates to “the bear’s forest,” and the representation that depicts the goddess hunting and riding a bear was adopted as the logo of the estate – as is evident it on their label.

Unfortunately that was not the case. Spanish Civil War put an end to Vincente’s dreams, and it wouldn’t be until the year 2006 before it was revived, under the direction of his two great-grandsons.

The two brothers, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana Bulnes, aspire to create wines that are unfiltered and expressive based on the 80-year-old vineyards that are a part of the estate. They make use of lengthy fermentation, minimal handling, and old barrels with a minimal use of fresh wood to not obscure the aromas of the grapes.

It is not surprising that the team has been producing wines that are very fragrant, rich and vibrant and a true delight for the palate.

Bernabeleva – Navaherreros Grenache 2009

Bernabeleva’s Navaherreros Grenache is all about the fruit, however it’s by no means a bomb of fruit. The first sniff is a delight, with scents of red fruits along with vanilla and a touch of spice. The aromas are vibrant and clean. The color is bright, clear, and fresh.

The wine’s palate is brought to its full. The flavors of red cherry as well as plum and pomegranate grow throughout the mouth. There are the aroma of vanilla and spices like the nose suggests. There’s also a lot of fruit in this wine; it is absolutely delicious. But all the fruit is tempered by the lively acidity and smooth tannins. The succulent fruits are left to linger on in a lengthy and mouthwatering final.

This is an Grenache that is zingy! It’s an Grenache that is a food-wine with a zing.

The wine I picked this time might be a little odd, but after having various varietals of the hot black beans tacos the Bernabeleva’s Navaherreros Grenache was the most convincing winner.

The tacos certainly helped bring out the spice in the wine, however the fruit’s concentrated flavor melded beautifully with the multilayered flavor of tacos. Additionally, the tacos, though definitely bursting with flavor they aren’t heavy, as are the wines. Their weights were the perfect pair.

I’ve served this wine with a wide variety of meals, which has never disappointed me. It’s now a regular in my collection.

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