2019 Puro Rofe Tinto Listan Negro
Puro Rofe is the project of local wine merchant Rayco Fernández, located on the volcanic island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Along with winemaker Carmelo Peña, they farm an array of different vineyards, which are comprised of indigenous and ancient vines. Viticulture on Lanzarote is unique in it’s construction, where a single vine is planted in the base of a hand-dug pit, allowing the vine to access sub surface moisture, but also protecting it from the harsh island winds. The landscape of Lanzarote has a moon like surface (due to an eruption covering the whole island in black ash), while the pits (locally known as hoyos) are reminiscent of craters on the moon.
Fermentation takes place in concrete vats, some clay amphora and older large format oak, while pressing is done via traditional basket press. Every effort is taken to champion and preserve these ancestral vines in the wine, which is portrayed with a focus on texture, freshness and tension. Expect a saline core from the oceanic influence, lifted by the ethereal and smoky aroma’s associated with volcanic wines.
The red from 2018 was a revelation, as we all had the whites from Lanzarote in mind. So, I had high expectations for the 2019 Rofe Tinto, pure Listán Negro from different parts of Lanzarote (Tinajo, La Geria, Masdache, etc.). It was produced in a simple and approachable way, fermented with 10% full clusters in plastic bins and used barriques and matured in clay tinaja (amphora) and used 500-liter oak barrel for six months. This was a big surprise right from the beginning, as nobody associates Lanzarote with red wine. It has the herbal and peppery sensations intermixed with smoky and stony undertones, with the volcanic ash sensation coming strong on the palate as well, where there's also a saline touch. It feels a little rounder than the 2018. Think of a volcanic and salty Cabernet Franc for an idea of what you're going to get... 2,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2020. Drink 2020 - 2024.
Luis Gutiérrez - Wine Advocate (Sept 2020)