Recommended by respected blog, Spanish Wine Lover, in April 2016 (click link - 5th on list)
What this wine does: This is Tandem's 'middle' red - a blend of international Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) and Merlot (20%) ... with the indigenous velvet and fruit of Tempranillo (40%).
Tandem is the brainchild of José Maria Fraile and Alicia Eyaralar, two of the leading lights in the Navarra winemaking scene. Committed to making the best wines in the region with minimal intervention in the vineyards and winery, Tandem is cited by critics as ‘cutting edge’ Navarra. The grapes are cultivated in the heart of the Yerri Valley, which is recognised as the best area for quality wine in the region. Respect for nature is an obsession - they follow the precepts of sustainable viticulture, while maintaining the vineyard’s health and viability. In the winery, a minimum intervention approach is also taken to ensure the grapes reflect their true character and terroir.
Tandem's vineyard philosophy is based around sustainable farming and using minimal intervention, while maintaining the vineyard’s health and viability. The natural conditions of the valley ensure that pesticide treatments can be kept to a minimum and take the form of sulphur and copper, avoiding products made from synthetic chemicals. The vines are dry-farmed and undergo a green harvest, in order to obtain lower yields and a key factor in achieving a greater concentration in the berries. The vines are trained using the Guyot method and are grown in clay loam soils. Harvesting is carried out at the moment of optimal ripeness and takes place during the coolest hours of the day, so the grapes retain their freshness.
The fermentation took place at controlled temperatures of 30°C, during which time a slow extraction took place with pigéage (punching down) to achieve the desired level of extraction. Pumps were not used during the fermentation process, instead racking was by gravity into concrete vats. A malolactic fermentation occured and natural clarification took place by decanting into concrete vats. The wine was not cold stabilised or fined. It then spent a minimum of 24 months in concrete vats and nine months ageing in new French, 300-litre oak barrels.
An elegant wine overflowing with dark fruit flavours and hints of wild scrubland herbs. Delightful, long, enveloping and complex on the palate. This is a powerful expression of its terroir.
The Ars Nova is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.