2016 Fronton de Oro Listan Negro, Gran Canaria, Spain

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Listan Negro is a fascinating varietal planted primarily on Spain's Canary Islands. It is actually the black skin version of Listan Blanco, which is the same grape as Palomino, the varietal that produces Sherry in southern Spain. It was originally widely planted on the Spanish mainland until the 16th century when settlers brought it to the Canaries. From there, it made its way to the Americas with early Spanish settlers, where through subsequent clonal variations became known as Mission in Mexico and California. However, after centuries of further clonal variation, it has been determined that they are two now distinct varietals. Listan Negro shines in the dark volcanic soil of the Canary Islands and in turn produces wines with great minerality and often a good amount of salinity due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. This particular example is a wonderful representation and it comes from the producer most known for its production of Listan Negro. It was aged for three months in mostly used American oak with a small quantity of new, which lets the inherent spicy, peppery, smoky characteristics of the grape shine in all their glory. Well focused yet not entirely juicy flavors of black cherry mix well with that wonderful minerality and flow onto the almost crisp and snappy finish. A really neat wine at a very affordable price!

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