Comando G: Amongst the Garnacha Greats


Comando G: Amongst the Garnacha Greats

Wine Team New York |

The Spanish winemaking landscape is in a state of metamorphosis. As a land so steeped in vinous history and home to regions so well established on the global stage (such as Rioja, Jerez, Ribera del Duero and Rías Baixas), this might come as a surprise to some. Indigenous grape varieties are being studied and rejuvenated; quality is increasingly tied to vineyard site, rather than length of maturation; new producers are crafting distinctive styles adorned with vibrant, contemporary labels that seize their place on international wine lists and in collectors’ hearts.

Perhaps there are no two better exemplars of this dynamism, ambition and artisanal skill than Fernando García (Fer) and Daniel Jiménez-Landi (Dani), collectively known as Comando G. Since the inception of this now famed project in 2008, they have turned the attention of the fine wine world to an altogether different profile of Garnacha (Grenache) and the vineyards of the Sierra de Gredos – and what a dramatic backdrop it provides. Hillside scrub, granite boulders and slate outcrops are dotted sporadically at elevations of up to almost 4,000 ft. The low population density of the area (not listed as a DO) combined with stark rock faces leave an impression of an almost lunar set of surroundings. Low-yielding bush vines (some as old as 80 years) under hot, humid summers offer berries charged with beguiling complexity as well as a crunch of tannin some might not instinctively associate with the variety; elevation tempers this with forthright acidity and ensures balance in the wines.

Following rigorous passes over the sorting table and gentle foot treading, 500-700L French oak barrels, foudres and clay amphorae are used for fermentation, with stem inclusion a common feature. Delicacy of phenolic extraction is of such importance that cap management is at times handled manually with watering cans.

When we talk about tannin profile that alters so drastically with vineyard site, pale colour and bright acidity, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were discussing Burgundy. These wines are nevertheless cut from a very different cloth and deserve to be considered as such.

The Sotheby’s Wine Comando G selection proudly features the following labels:

La Bruja

In many ways a brilliant gateway to this range. This ‘Vino de Pueblo’ (akin to a Burgundy Village) is a medium-bodied style which hints at all the heights of the single vineyards: tart pomegranate fruit, herbs, lifted florals and dry spices.

Las Umbrías

From east-facing vines planted on quartz gravels, this is structurally more rounded and supercharged with a blood orange, bergamot and Campari-like bitterness. A thrilling expression. 

Las Iruelas

From 1,000m elevation on wetter schists, Las Iruelas is more built around mineral structure and tenser, tarter red berry fruit.

El Tamboril (Tinto)

From a north-facing granitic plot, this Garnacha has some of the longest hangtime. It is an immensely layered, unfurling marvel that offers immense power as well as refinement of flavour.

La Breña

La Breña is brooding with dried flower and herbal notes. Fer claims that the acidity always reverberates or ‘hums’, attributing this to the purer granite soils on which the vines sit.

Whether you’re a new taker or die-hard fan, this is without doubt some of the most exciting wine to come out of Spain in recent years. Dive in!

Featured Wines