La Calandria (Pura Garnacha) was established by two childhood friends, Luis Remacha y Javier Continente, with the aim of recovering very old Grenache vineyards in their native Navarra. Working from rented premises at a winery in Murchante, they own some small plots of bush vines located in this village, and in neighbouring Cintruénigo, Corella and Castejón, as well as in the nearby region of Aragón, where their top red Tierga (€30) comes from.
Fruit is a key factor in all the wines. Bottle presentation is painstakingly elaborated, often with an adventurous and humorous approach. Production is small though: 44,000 bottles. The DO Navarra range includes a young red called La Volandera (€9, a carbonic maceration Grenache crowned with an original cap similar to those traditionally used for carbonated beverages); the rosé Sonrojo (€7.5, which means “blush”); and Cientruenos (€13), a red wine briefly aged in oak. All of them offer excellent value for money.
The duo's latest project is the recovery of the old Rancio wines which were produced privately by families in the border of Navarra and Aragón, from the southern Pyrenees to the Moncayo mountains. To bring these old, often forgotten soleras back to life, the madres (mothers, as the dry lees are locally called) are re-hydrated with old Garnacha wines sourced from the same areas where the soleras came from.
Three of them are on release under the brand Niño Perdido. Production is limited to just a few dozen 37.5 cl. bottles. The wines are named after the people or families who kept them, except in the case of No. 1, which pays tribute to Ladislao Montiel, former winemaker at Camilo Castilla (a traditional sweet and Rancio wine producer from Navarra) who helped La Calandria in their quest. The wines are: Mother Nº 1. A, Ladislao (€29), Mother Nº 2, Laín Family (€29) and Mother Nº3 Casa Valero (€79.5).
Javier Continente travels the world with his amazing robots and mechanical toys show -his other passion- and uses those trips to introduce the wines in new markets.