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2019 Envinate Benje Tinto

Tenerife, SPAIN
$46. 99 Bottle
$563.88 Dozen
ABV: 12%
Closure: Cork

Envínate, which literally translates as “Wine Yourself,” is the project of four young passionate winemakers: Roberto Santana (based in the Canaries), Jose Martinez (Almansa), Laura Ramos (Murcia) and Alfonso Torrente (Ribeira Sacra). The four met while studying oenology in Alicante in 2005 and formed a collective based on a shared philosophy of wine and a desire to explore the ancient, Atlantic influenced terroirs of western Spain.

In 2008, the group bought their first vineyard in Ribeira Sacra, then took control of vineyards on the north side of Tenerife, and followed with a single patch of Tinta Amarela in Extremadura. Finally, in 2012, the group began working with a site in Almansa, where Jose lives and works, planted to Garnacha Tintorera. In each region, they work old, previously abandoned vineyards, but importantly for a project with such spread, one of the team lives full time in each location, working the vineyards year round.

Benje refers to an area high above the cloud cover on the western edge of the Tiede volcano. It’s an area that produces markedly different wines, from the sappy freshness of the coastal zones but still carries the hallmark lightness of all of Envínate’s wines. Benje Tinto is straight Listan Prieto, Benje Blanco is Listan Blanco. Both are grown on a mixture of old ash and red clay at over 1000m above sea level.

Other Reviews....
The red 2019 Benje was produced mostly with Listán Prieto with some Listán Blanco (4%) and Tintilla (2%) from different old vineyards in Santiago del Teide in the south of Tenerife at altitudes ranging between 900 and 1,000 meters, where sandy soils are covered by volcanic ash from the eruption of the Chinyero Vulcano in 1909. 2019 was extremely dry, and they had to reduce yields to avoid the blocking of the vines, so they only got 50% of a normal crop. The wine fermented by plot with indigenous yeasts and spontaneous malolactic and matured with fine lees in well-seasoned and neutral 228-liter oak barrels for eight months. They didn't use any added sulfur during the vinification or upbringing. It's light to medium-bodied with 12% alcohol. It's a textbook example: precise, expressive and characterful with the fruit, the peppercorn, the gunpowder and very tasty flavors with fine-grained tannins. 15,000 bottles and 150 magnums were produced. It was bottled in July 2020. Drink 2022 - 2026.
94 points
Luis Gutiérrez - Wine Advocate (Feb 2022)