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Domaines Lupier La Dama


Elisa has said that the 2008 Domaines Lupier La Dama is made from over 30 different Garnacha base wines blended into one, full and rich cuvée. A brooding, black fruit nose. The palate is concentrated, fresh and taut with high acidity, a grippy, tannic structure and masses of blackberry and black cherry fruit plus some spice, too. With firm minerality and a savoury quality, it is very well balanced and shows great complexity. This has lots of potential, but it's only just starting to come into its own.

Country: Spain
Region: Navarra
Vintage: 2008
Colour: Red
Grape Variety: Grenache/Garnacha
ABV: 14%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Complex, concentrated and ageworthy
Drink With: Christmas lunch, and Boxing Day leftovers!

Domaines Lupier is the name of the project of husband and wife Enrique Basarte and Elisa Ucar. They are from Pamplona and started searching for old-vine Garnacha vineyards in different zones of Spain, but were finally convinced that what they were looking for was close to home, in Navarra. They walked the vineyards and chewed hundreds of grapes to make sure they had the quality of tannins they were looking for and they finally found it in the village of San Martin de Unx (plus a small plot in Olite).

The vines range from 68 years old to over 100 years old (the oldest vineyard they have is from 1903). They have 17 hectares in 27 separate plots. Altitudes vary, and so does the soil composition, it’s basically argilo-calcareous, but the amount of chalk, clay and gravel differs from plot to plot. They also purchased a large house in the village where they live and have their 50,000-bottle winery. They sold their grapes until 2008, when they bottled their first vintage. All of their vineyards are head pruned and dry farmed, which absorbs the effect of the heat and drought and delivers more balanced grapes. As 2008 was their first vintage, they were forced to use 100% new oak, but the idea is to renew 10% of the wood each year. They are also moving toward larger containers (400, 500, 650 and 1,500-litre capacity) as they see the wood-to-fruit ratio needed for Garnacha is lower than for other varieties. Fermentation is in stainless steel and open barrels, part full-cluster.

From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
The purple-coloured 2008 Domaines Lupier La Dama is also 100% old vine Garnacha but sourced from more elevated vines and aged in larger oak. Expressive mineral, floral, spice box, and black cherry aromas lead to a wine with terrific intensity and concentration contained within its elegant personality. It is built for the long haul with a drinking window that will extend from 2016 to 2033. In an age of wines made for immediate gratification, it is refreshing to see wines that mandate (and that will reward) patience. 92 Points