Due to land in the UK this side of Christmas, the new release of La Dama is utterly sensational. I gave it one of the highest-ever scores for a red Spanish wine when I tasted it and its 2014 vintage brother (£34.95, BBR.com) side by side the other day and they both looked sublime.
Owner Elisa Úcar poured her wines wearing the widest grin imaginable. She knows just how good they are, but they are so precise and so esoteric that I imagine the general public might find it easier and less challenging to plump for Rioja or Ribera del Duero than the gems found in the Domaines Lupier cellar.
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Made from dramatic, mountainside plots of garnacha, La Dama possesses elemental power and uncommon grace. I noted down the words “sonorous, pure, actively juicy, deeply mineral and epic balance” in my notes as I dived into these wines. My mind was reeling with intense pleasure and this mood stayed with me through hundreds of other dreary wines that day.
Elisa and her agronomist partner Enrique Basarte have rescued 27 small parcels of high-altitude garnacha, some of which date back to 1903. They think these old vines show the “savage” side of this incredible grape and they are exactly right. The wildness and authenticity of these wines is astounding. I recommend you grab a bottle of 2014 to check we are on the same page and then order as much 2015 as you can afford. It is a mind-blowingly sensual wine.
2015 La Dama, Domaines Lupier, Navarra, Spain £156 for a case of six bottles, under bond, Berry Bros. & Rudd, 0800-280 2440, BBR.com
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).
This article was originally published in MoneyWeek
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