Picture this, it is 1962, and in the Catalayud region of Spain, a group of small farmers recognize that they can all attain greater success by working together rather than competing against one another. In a year beset by paralyzing strikes and crackdowns by the dictator Francisco Franco, the growers found strength in unity and created Bodegas San Alejandro, a vineyard co-op that still exists, and thrives, today.
Over 350 growers now cultivate and harvest the grapes that grow on the rocky slopes of northeastern Spain. With over 3,000 acres shared between them, the producers have reinvented themselves in recent years. While remaining true to their forebears’ co-op roots, the young winemakers have gone global and partnered with French and American experts to create Las Rocas, a brand focused on fruit, terroir, and quality. The managing operator, Yolanda Diaz, explains, “We focus on making wines that are elegant and balanced. The most important element in winemaking philosophy is to keep intervention at a minimum. Let the land speak in the wine.”
Las Rocas specializes in Grenache, or as the Spanish would say, Garnacha. We are pleased to carry two of their wines, Las Rocas de San Alejiandro Garnacha 2009, and Las Rocas de San Alejiandro Rosé 2012. The Garnacha ’09 is delicious- supple, nuanced, and harmonious. Las Rocas focuses on expressing the fruit, so the oak notes here are subtle and complementary. The decadent fruit tends towards dark cherry, blackberry, and raspberry, but we also detect hints of black licorice and pepper. At $10.99 a bottle, the quality here rivals much more expensive wines.
The rosé is also high-caliber, with rhubarb and strawberry notes standing out. The Garnacha grapes bring their usual softness, making for an approachable yet deceptively complex wine. We offer this creamy, balanced rosé at $10.99 a bottle.
Las Rocas first appeared in the U.S in 2003, some 41 years after the co-op was created, but the youthful spirit that led to Bodegas San Alejandro remains in place today. We like their style, we like their spirit, and most importantly, we like their wines, and hope you will as well.