We attended a presentation of El Grifo’s 2018 wines at the bodega this week. El Grifo is Lanzarote’s largest bodega and is the second oldest in all of Spain.
It all started with a short presentation from owners Fermín and Juan José Otamendi, then one from the wine maker Jorge Rodríguez, before Javier Gila, president of the association of sommeliers in Madrid gave us his thoughts on this year’s vintage.
Several key points came out from the presentations.
- El Grifo has developed its own yeast, which is being used this year.
- A new “Malvasia Lías” wine has been produced, which speeds up maturation using the lees, or spent yeast after a short period in barrel.
- The harvest this year was excellent, which has allowed El Grifo to sun dry 40,000 kilos of Malvasía grapes which will be used to make more of its award winning Canari sweet wine.
- For the first time a red, Listán, has been added to the “Coleccíon”range of the best wines.
We were then treated to a tasting of all of the wines, accompanied by some fabulous nibbles.
While Lanzarote whites have always been superb, the island has struggled to make great reds, But the Listán colección could be the one! It’s still very young, and could do with 2 or 3 more years in bottle, but it already has a rich, fruity aroma and a complex, smoky taste. One to buy and keep.
The real surprise for us was the Lías. This wine is matured in oak, and then transferred back to steel vats on used yeast, or lees. It’s power packed with flavour and an intense aroma, but with low acidity.
Our favourite was the Rosado de Lágrima. This is a rosé wine made with the Listán grape. But the colour is the merest blush of pink, and the wine drinks like a full bodied white, rather than the more normal and sometimes insipid rosés.
Although we didn’t taste it, we always recommend El Grifo’s cava as our favourite bubbly, made using the traditional method.
The event was well organised, the wines excellent, and Lanzarote wine making continues to innovate and impress.
Read more about Lanzarote’s Bodegas.