Another hit of El Escocés Volante: Manda Huevos 2014

Coming round to another of the wines from Norrel Robertson’s El Escocés Volante gives me the chance to link to two previous articles, this one which talks more about Norrel and his project as well as this one that talks about Diam cork closures.

Literally, the name manda huevos could mean “send eggs” but it’s originally Mandat Opus in Latin and has come to mean, “I can’t believe it” in Castilian. This is a thoroughly-enjoyable, wonderfully articulate wine that shows what can come out of those curious hills and mountains around Calatayud. Specifically, it’s a single-parcel vineyard by the name of Caña Andrea with the oldest part planted in 1908 and the newest, 1970, thus old vines all around. The oldest part, while mostly Grenache is a bit of an old school field blend that Norrel just goes with in the finished wine.

There’s this stewing, brooding quality to it that I’ve found in other good wines from 2014–a difficult year in Eastern Spain but very good in Central Spain so I don’t know where Calatayud falls. The DO hasn’t released a classification yet and the production totals are all over the map each year in the DO so it speaks to no discernible trend so let’s just say there are aspects of both regions that flank Calatayud.

This wine also happened to be sealed with a Diam cork and upon opening it, there was a distinct note of reduction (that sulfur-like smell) which, while it can happen to any wine, isn’t terribly common in Grenache. It’s not the end of the world as it blows off, but it was one of a few instances where I’ve noticed this on wines closed with Diam. I’ve had it commented to me that this is an issue of the winemaking but if the wine is made to have a closure that breathes like cork, then the Diam isn’t doing it correctly in some cases it seems.

But these aspects aside, this wine was great full to drink and really captures the general aura of Norrel in the bottle.

Manda Huevos
Medium ruby with a garnet hue, light rim. Red and dark cherry, touch of young plum, licorice, wet bark, rich red fruit on the palate, medium plus acidity and finish, complex notes and very layered. Needs a great deal of time to open and well rewarded if you do.
85% Grenache, 15% White Grenache, Moristel, Bobal 14% 20€