Ferociously Complicated, Fantastically Drinkable: 94 Point, $31 Point Spanish Gem
Posted on: 07/20/18 12:00 PM
Success stories have abounded in Spain in recent years, but none may be more important for American wine consumers than Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia’s. Their wines, which can be some of the most riveting in Spain, inject a special excitement in a category already crowded with surprise and thrill. That’s not easy. But with their label “Comando G” (cheekily named after 80’s Japanese anime), Mr. Landi and his partner are redefining what was previously viewed as Spain’s workhorse variety, Garnacha, into something that can rival the seduction and finesse of Pinot in Burgundy or dark elegance of Syrah from the Rhône. Yes, they’re that good. Burgundy fans, Châteauneuf fans, Spanish fans, American fans, everyone, and I mean everyone, is going to go nuts for their wines.
2015 Comando G Rozas 1er Cru
“The 2015 Rozas 1er Cru is their Garnacha village selection from the village of Rozas de Puerto Real. This is produced with biodynamically farmed vineyards (from 2015 all of the vineyards are biodynamic, even though they started earlier), and all of them are in the same zone of the village at some 950 meters altitude, with some 5.6 hectares in total. When I tasted this, I hadn’t realized it was a 2015 and assumed it was a cooler vintage (2014). It talks about the superb vineyard work, a mini-Umbrías, with subtleness and elegance. This has to be the finest vintage to date for this bottling. Super recommended. 8,200 bottles were filled in November 2016. Talking to Comando G, they believe this wine really shows the vineyard work in this third vintage better than the previous one, improving irrespective of the conditions of the year. Bravo!” 94 Points, Wine Advocate
More About the Wine
Culturally, we’re in the golden age of geek. So, it’s no surprise that in 2018 one of Spain’s hottest wineries is led by two young nerds with a label named after cartoon superheroes in caped bird costumes trying to protect Earth’s natural resources. You can’t get geekier than that. Mr. Landi and Garcia are leading what has become an important and endearing moment for Spain, when wine can be casual and complicated and here is where they are beating the French and Americans: actually… fun.
And fun doesn’t mean simple. Nor is Rozas particularly easy to “get”. It is, however, very easy to enjoy. That’s why Comando G is special. The 2015 Rozas is an excellent wine, nuanced with details, complicated in harmony, resulting from expertly and sensitively made wine. That’s the magic here: an effortless display of identity and place and not losing delicious fruit along the way.
Instead of aiming for saturation, oak, power and impact, these geeks have done the precise opposite: they strive for freshness and expression of place. Sure, it’s a straightforward formula: detailed and responsible farming on high altitude vineyards and restoring abandoned old vines in unique sites. Like many from this new generation, Mr. Landi and Garcia met at university, learned from some of the best in Spain, then branched outside of their native country concentrating their time on Burgundy and the Rhône. With the lessons learned, they returned home searching for abandoned high altitude vineyards in the weathered peaks of the Sierra de Gredos. “Three years ago, many people thought that we were just some crazy university graduates,” explained Mr. Landi. “But now it seems they’re finally beginning to understand”.
That is an understatement.
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