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A refreshing, mineral Garnacha from the centuries old vineyards of central Spain.

DO Vinos de Madrid

Light, fresh and packed with floral aromas and notes of plum and Mediterranean scrub, Senda has an attractive mineral streak which is typical of the granite soils that dominate the Gredos mountains.

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Technical details

  • Producer: Las Moradas de San Martín
  • Region: DO Vinos de Madrid
  • Vintage: 2020
  • ABV: 14%
  • Grapes: Garnacha

Food pairings

This wine will go well with:

  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Cheese

Who makes Senda

Las Moradas de San Martín is one of the best-known and best-loved wineries in the Vinos de Madrid appellation. Drawing on a local winemaking culture that stretches back to the 12th century, the winery’s main focus is on biodynamically farmed, old vine Garnacha - with some vines planted more than one hundred years ago - and the native white grape Albillo Real. Chief winemaker Isabel Galindo, one of Spain’s foremost Garnacha experts who has headed up the winemaking team at Las Moradas for over 20 years, highlights the altitude of the vineyard plots – between 800 and 900 metres above sea level – and the granite soils which predominate around San Martín. The result: healthy fruit with looser bunches of smaller grapes which help produce lighter, more ethereal, more fragrant wines than in other Garnacha regions of Spain such as Aragón, for example.

The grapes

Garnacha is one of the most widely grown wine grapes in the world and in Spain it's about the third most grown red grape behind Tempranillo and Bobal. It's a late-ripening variety which enjoys hot, dry conditions, which makes it a reliably robust choice for winemakers. In the northeast of Spain, Garnacha tends to produce quite soft, easy-drinking red wines, while in central Spain, especially when grown on the granite soils in the mountains west of Madrid, it gives fresher wines with a delicious mineral edge to them (slightly reminiscent of good Pinot Noir). It's low in tannin, so you don't get that astringent, dry sensation in the mouth. But because it's late ripening it can also be quite high in alcohol as the fruit has more time to develop the sugars which then become alcohol in the wine.

In terms of fruit, in younger wines you’ll pick up good bursts of red fruit like strawberry and raspberry. And in the varieties made with older vines that have been aged for a little you start to get sweeter, deeper fruit flavours reminiscent of figs. Occasionally you might also find a lick of white pepper just on top of the wine, which can add a nice touch of character.

Where Senda is made

Vinos de Madrid is one of Spain’s newer DOs, with about 8,500 hectares of vineyard, just over 3,000 growers and 51 wineries. Established in 1990, for a long time it was divided into the three distinct sub-zones Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martin de Valdeiglesias which together form an east to west arc about 50km south of the city of Madrid. Recently in 2019 a fourth sub-zone was added in El Molar, about 40km north of the city of Madrid. The main grapes are Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvar, and Albillo Real.

Arganda, in the south-east of the region of Madrid, is the largest of the three sub-zones with 28 wineries and just over 50% of the DO’s total vineyard area. This is an historic winegrowing region; so much so it coined the Spanish saying: ¨Si vino a Arganda y no bebió vino, ¿entonces a qué vino?¨ or ¨If you came to Arganda and didn’t drink wine, why did you come?¨! In terms of grape varieties, you’re most likely to find old vine Tempranillo and the white Malvar grape planted here.

Navalcarnero, 60km due east of Arganda, is the smallest of the three sub-zones and accounts for just 15% of annual production. Just a short drive from here and we’re into DO Méntrida, so it’s no surprise that you start to find more vineyard plots planted with Garnacha.

Finally San Martín de Valdeiglesias is the most westerly of the three sub-zones and gateway to the eastern edge of the Sierra de Gredos, one of the largest mountain ranges in Spain’s Central System with peaks that reach over 2,500 metres above sea level at the highest point and some vineyard plots at around 1,000 metres. San Martín is Garnacha country, especially very old Garnacha planted anything up to one hundred years ago in granite soils and bursting with minerality and natural acidity, but you’ll also find vineyards planted with the white Albillo Real grape.

In general the climate across the DO is continental, with minimum temperatures around -8ºC and maximums slightly above 40ºC. Summers tend to be short, hot and dry while winters are long and cold, and rainfall winters and low rainfall (c. 500mm/year). This varies slightly as the land rises around San Martín de Valdeiglesias, bringing a more mountainous climate with temperatures dropping a bit more in late some around harvest time and more frost and snowfall during the winter months.

How Senda is made

The grapes are harvested manually from five different vineyard plots (Panaderos, Corzos, Boquerón, La Coja and Poniente) and are sorted manually by hand before being destemmed and put into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The grapes from each of the five plots are fermented separately with their own native yeasts, and with a very gentle pumping over to keep the skins as intact as possible. Once fermented, the wine is aged for 10 months in 500 litre European oak barrels which have been used for 3-5 vintages or larger foudres. Once aged, the wine is blended in tanks and bottles, with no fining or filtering.

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