Onward! To The Canary Islands!

Volcanoes can kill, it’s true!  Mount Vesuvius totally wiped away Pompeii.  Mauna Loa off of Hawaii may soon blow,  Mount Merapi is just waiting to ruin Indonesia’s day, remember Krakatau?  Iceland took it pretty hard from Lakagigar!  But before you duck and cover and give up all hope remember that volcanoes are our friends too.  They can give birth to land masses, forming beautiful vacation getaways with unmatched sunsets and baked-sanded nude beaches.  Take the eastern most island of Lanzarote off the coast of Spain.

Lanzarote is the fourth largest island of the Canary Island’s fame born from volcanic ash creating an otherworldly landscape reminiscent of Mars (if Mars wasn’t red, wait a minute…Lanzarote is named after the Genoese explorer Lancelotto Malocello, the original name-Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus translated from the original, native island tongue means “THE RED MOUNTAIN”!!) Oh my god, where are we???


These two wines from Los Bermajos come from quick draining volcanic soils which have a hard time holding water from the extremely harsh and dry, wind swept climate.  The vines are actually trained in foxholes to deflect the intense breezes meaning they have to be carefully tended by hand (no tractors can cruise through these vineyards!) making the yields extremely low producing wines of intense composition transmitting an honest sense of place.

2009 Los Bermejos Malvasia Seco Lanzarote, $25.  Imported by Jose Pastor Selections.

If there is any doubt that terrior is fantasy this wine will make you a believer.  Medium bodied, wildly textured, dry and savory.  This is  zesty fruit flavor mixed with a handful of sea pebbles.  Drink it with a sun baked and seasoned mackerel or by itself while shakin your ass at Carnival.

2009 Los Bermejos Tinto Carbónico Lanzarote, $22.  Imported by Jose Pastor Selections.

Carbonic maceration is the process of throwing whole clusters of grapes into a sealed container.  The grapes on the bottom get slightly crushed and eventually kick start fermentation, carbon dioxide is released and permeates the skins of the grapes on top fermenting them from the inside.  This process reduces natural malic acid and creates a softer, less tannic and fruity wine.  The 100% Listan Negra is definitely fresh and fruity but is interwoven with a wonderfully raspy herbal note giving it a stiff, mineral structure.  Have it with any combination of pork, cilantro, dried pepper, boiled egg and potato.

Check out the cool lip on the bottle, you can pour without dribbling!

Fun fact!  Did you know the islands are not named after canaries?  They are in fact named after “canaria” which are wild, fierce dogs that Romans encountered when they first landed here.

2 Responses to “Onward! To The Canary Islands!”

  1. Bradley Says:

    Sound delicious, where did you find these two?

  2. richmondwineculture Says:

    Thanks Bradley, you should be able to get em at J. Emerson.

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