A short distance away from Madrid, domain Comando G (for “Commando of Grenache”), has clearly shown its ambition to produce the finest wines possible from Grenache, tending its vines biodynamically and bringing the terroirs of Sierra de Gredos back to life.
Created in 2008 by three enologist friends in their thirties, Marcel Isart Pinos (who has since left the project), Fernando Garcia Alonso and Daniel Jiménez-Landi, domain Comando G is a true hidden gem. The domain’s name is at once a reference to Grenache and the Sierra de Gredos, the rugged, weathered peaks of the mountainous massif between the provinces of Ávila, Cáceres, Madrid and Tolède, where the vineyards lie. The winemakers have also joined forces with others in the region to promote “garnachas de Gredos”, a geographic entity that transcends the limits of their AOC (Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Vinos de Madrid and Méntrida) and defends the terroir of the Sierra de Gredos. The region had been all but abandoned for four decades of so, especially as their inaccessible location made the vineyards almost impossible to farm mechanically. The region has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, its highly qualitative wines contributing to its nickname of the ‘Priorat of Castille’.
The domain’s vineyards are a mix of small parcels whose combination of high altitude, freely draining soils, and a mild and humid micro-climate – for central Spain – guarantee a long growing season and a modest alcohol level in the finished wines. The vines are tended to biodynamically, yields are limited to as low as 20hl/ha on certain parcels. These vines all range in age from 50 to 80 years old and are planted on sandy soils weathered from granite, slate and quartz. The resultant wines are startlingly fresh, expressing minerality and delicacy.
Vinifications are non-interventionist, extractions are gentle, and macerations last between 30 and 70 days. The wines are neither pumped over or punched down; the cap is simply submerged. Fermentations are carried out by indigenous yeasts and élevage on lees in large containers. Carbonic gas is used to protect the wines.
Comando G produces a sublime expression of high-altitude Grenache. The wines are extraordinarily aromatic and intensely flavorful. Try them before they’re gone!
Wines from Comando G currently for sale:
Las Umbrias is produced in a half-hectare parcel at an altitude of 1,000 metres, with granite soil and an easterly exposure; it is a single-variety Grenache wine. It is vinified with native yeasts and matured for 12 months in 500-litre foudre barrels. Tasting reveals a delicate wine, with a highly aromatic bouquet of red berries mixed with floral, spicy and cedar notes. The palate is elegant, powerful, structured and counterbalanced well by an attractive acidity; it has great aromatic complexity and its length is, of course, considerable.
Produced from old vines grown in a steeply sloping terroir, this cuvée has been cold-macerated. It is then matured for one year in 700-litre foudre barrels and in 500-litre French oak barrique barrels. It can be enjoyed for its depth, rustic character and expression of ripe, spicy black berries. Our recommendation is to pair these characteristics with a dish featuring sauce or Mediterranean vegetables.
A micro-cuvée from a high altitude, this blend of Grenache and Gris and Blanc combines minerality, sweetness and purity. A great Spanish white.
Produced from fifty-year-old vines of Grenache planted on several parcels of a total of 5 hectares close to the city of Rozas de Puerto Real. Fermented by indigenous yeasts in entire bunches in oak barrels. Elevage lasts 12 months. An intensely fragrant wine with red fruits (strawberry, cherry), liquorice and mineral notes. An explosive bouquet of fruits is also perceptible on the palate. A simply delicious wine.