Pago de los Balagueses Garnacha Tintorera Merlot


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Fine, full-bodied Spanish red. 94 Points

This comes from the highest quality vineyards on the estate, which received the ‘Pago’ qualification in 2011, the highest ranking of a vineyard in Spain, and it is where the Iberians were cultivating vines nearly 3000 years ago. A wine of huge intensity, deep colour and overall charm.  A fine result from the unusual combination of 70% Garnacha Tintorera and 30% Merlot. Intriguing, complex bouquet offering a mass of dark autumnal, brambley fruit with hints of earth, leaf mulch and woodsmoke. Subtle floral scents add lift to the medley as well as a telling balsamic twist. Multi-layered with powerful, ripe tannins. Bags of character, bags of flavour – a real show stopper!

Vines of at least 30 years of age in this single vineyard three hectare ‘Pago’ at 780m altitude. Matured for 10 months in small French oak barrels (70% new). Stirring of the lees in the barrel adds to the palate richness.

  • 92 Points – Jamie Goode, ‘Organically farmed single vineyard that has been cultivated for a long time: wine was made here more than a thousand years ago. Made from the teinturier Alicante Bouschet (known here as Garnacha Tintorera), this is ripe, dense and structured, with grippy tannins underlying sleek yet fresh blackberry and black cherry fruit. It’s modern without being over-ripe, showing good definition and structure. There’s some oak in the mix, but overall this is a well made, ageworthy wine of good intensity, and it needs a bit of time to reach a harmonious maturity.’, November 2018 (2016 vintage)
  • Gold Medal – Sommelier Wine Awards 2019, ‘Deeply concentrated plum fruit, with a peppery edge, lovely structure and hints of black tea.’ Laurent Richet MS. ‘Rich aromas of coffee, black fruit and herbs, a peppery palate and a long finish‘ Chiara Sieni. ‘Gamey, feral and intense; spiced black fruit with a hint of tea‘ Sonal Clare. ‘It’s a hidden gem, designed for you to show off‘ Timothy Connor. (2016 vintage)
  • 94 Points –, ‘Rich dark plum, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, as well as a flinty, dark-stone edge. The palate is plump and fresh, exuding effortless, balanced power. Terrific, flavoursome, fresh red here.’ August 2018 (2015 vintage)
  • 92 Points – Wine Spectator Magazine, ‘Showing balance and depth, this red has flavours that are a bit reserved but deep, with black cherry, black olive, cocoa and mineral notes. Firm tannins and fresh acidity are well-integrated, yielding a seamless texture. Harmonious, in a savoury style. Drink now through 2027. 1200 cases made.’ Thomas Matthews, August 2018 (2015 vintage)
  • 17/20 –, ‘Restrained but intriguing nose – smoke, violets, black cherry, leather. Rich and hearty without busting the block, and there’s a lovely grainy tannin firming up the finish. Ambitious and delicious. Drink 2017-2024.‘ Richard Hemming MW, October 2017 (2014 vintage)


Hedgerow fruit and balsamic, Sweet smoky bramble fruits


Autumnal brambly fruit, Woodsmoke and balsamic

The Vegalfaro winery is located in La Plana de Requena-Utiel, within the province of Valencia. The Bodega owns 60 hectares of vines that are divided into three separate vineyard plots based on soil, microclimate and grape variety. All vineyards are certified organic, as is the winery itself. This is ancient wine country that can claim a history of winemaking stretching back as far as the 7th century BC. It was in 1999 that Andrés Valiente and his son Rodolfo first established Bodegas Vegalfaro here. No pesticides have ever been used on their vineyards, as a result the soils are teeming with life. Because of the variety of soils, the different orientations and the altitude above sea level, between 600 and 900 metres, the vines benefit from exceptional growing conditions, each planted at a site to best suit that grape. Here the local Bobal grape variety that is king, ably supported by more internationally recognised varieties such as Merlot, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. The stand-alone three hectare "Pago de los Balagueses" is officially recognised and classified as a single vineyard (Pago) - the highest ranking wine denomination in Spain. This is a privileged place for growing grapes, surrounded by a pine forest, Holm oaks and aromatic plants, located in the Natural Park las Hoces. The soil of calcareous-sandy nature and the cool summer nights of this Pago favour the high quality of the wines. Syrah and Garnacha Tintorera are the predominant varieties here, plus small plots of Merlot and Chardonnay. Four wines from Bodegas Vegalfaro attained the “Excellent” rating with scores between 90 and 93 in the Peñín Wine Guide 2017. Among them, Rebel·lia red, which scored 90 points and was positioned as the best wine of Valencia on a value for money basis.The “Pago de Los Balagueses” Syrah and the Garnacha Tintorera-Merlot are both recognized as outstanding in the classification.


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  1. Rich, smooth & beautiful

    This wine is fantastic, really rich, smooth taste, low acidity. Tastes even better after a few hours, so I recommend to open the bottle a good few hours before drinking to let it breathe.

    Miss Organic

  2. Big Wine!

    Really full-bodied, but definitely ready to drink. Delicious stuff