Our selection comes to us from Dan Phillips, one of the most iconic and prolific wine importers we have ever encountered. For over 25 years, Dan has sourced outstanding wines that have somehow eluded others. It is a veritable cat and mouse game where importers almost crawl over each other to find the next producer who will turn their customer's heads.
Dan seems to head the hunt as he brings us this outstanding selection made by Oriol and Susana Illa from their winery, Maquina y Tabla, in Castilla y Leon. They began just nine years ago travelling throughout the region in search of the oldest and most impressive vineyards. Like Dan Phillips, they had to get there before somebody else did and they usually succeeded.
Our selection features the national treasure of Spain, Tempranillo. The wine was crafted from 65 year old vines, which accounts for the tremendous density it packs into the glass. Tempranillo is not normally dark and imposing, but with vines of that age, the yields are very small so each grape holds much more flavor and power than in its earlier years.
The deep color signals the dense flavor to come. Ripe blackberry, damp earth, spice and leather are just the beginning. It then morphs into a mellow mode, sporting candy apple and soft tannins. Only a slow roasted lamb leg over hickory or a rare venison loin can match the incredible density of flavors here.