NEW! Dos Dedos de Frente, El Escoces Volante, Calatayud, Spain 2014

Dos Dedos de Frente.jpg
Dos Dedos de Frente.jpg

NEW! Dos Dedos de Frente, El Escoces Volante, Calatayud, Spain 2014


It's hard to know where to begin. If we dive into the background detail, it will be several paragraphs before we get to telling you about how truly amazing this wine tastes, but if we begin with a detailed tasting note, then it will be several paragraphs before we get to telling you about the hilarious origin of the name and the fascinating story of the winemaker. So, let's try and speed through all three.

The name of the wine, 'Dos Dedos de Frente' (meaning 'two fingers of forehead'), is taken from a Spanish expression that means someone of low intelligence. It comes from the days when people believed that a large forehead was a sign of great intellect and if you wanted to call someone a fool, you would say that they didn't even have 'two fingers of forehead' ('no tiene dos dedos de frente'). Could it possibly refer to the winemaker?

The first thing we noticed about the winemaker was his thick Scottish accent. What kind of crazy Scotsman would find himself making wine here, high up in the hills of Calatayud? He can't have two fingers of forehead! It turns out that Norrel Robertson has quite a lot of forehead. Not only has he an MA Honours degree in Politics and International Relations, but he is also one of only four Masters of Wine currently living and working in Spain. He goes by the name of 'El Escoces Volante' ('The Flying Scotsman') and although he has made wine in Murcia, Andalucia and Galicia, he has made a real name for himself in Aragon, where he makes high altitude wines from Rhone varieties and this was the best of some great wines that we tasted with him. We only have 60 bottles, so when it's gone, it's gone.

It's a Syrah with a splash of Viognier (4%), a fairly common recipe in Cote-Rotie, and the aromas are astonishingly beautiful. It's a wine that you will enjoy swirling for minutes before you take a sip, because there is so much going on. It's like a maypole of intertwining scents and flavours comprising rich cassis, black cherry, vanilla, violets, white pepper, cigar box and tangy plum sauce. The palate is voluptuous, smooth and rich, but the texture is silky not furry or tarry. With some full-bodied wines, it can feel like you are chewing on liquorice, but this glides and flows despite its 15% alc. A truly memorable experience from a brilliant winemaker. Drink now-2030.


Press reviews:

The Wine Advocate: "I also sampled the 2014 Dos Dedos de Frente, a single-vineyard Syrah from Calatayud, a plot planted at some 920 metres altitude, co-fermented with some 5% Viognier. This is still very young and needs more time in bottle. I tasted if just before bottling and just bottled after some 14 months in used 225- and 300-litre oak barrels that still lent spicy and smoky aromas to the wine. Ripe, heady and concentrated, this is a powerful Syrah with a Rhône character, mixing notes of graphite, earth and cedar wood with violets, wild berries and Mediterranean herbs with a touch of black olive and a meatiness. The palate is full-bodied with abundant, fine-grained tannins and a long finish. It ends with dusty minerality. This should improve with time in bottle and has the stuffing and balance to be long-lived. 4,000 bottles produced in May 2017." 93 points

Jancis Robinson (on the previous vintage): "Very pure and intense nose showing ripe dark fruit, cloves, clean oak and a meaty touch. Great nose. It is muscular and has a good shape, well built with fine-grained tannins, savoury and harmonious alcohol and fruit balance. It is big, fleshy and yummy. Extremely hedonistic and superb delineation. I take my hat off to this wine. (FC)" 18 points

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