El Escocés Volante (The Flying Scotsman), Norrel Robertson MW, touched down with his family in Spain in 2003 and released his first wine in 2004 (Manga del Brujo)
Norrel has been making wine in Spain for over 15 years and is currently one of three Master of Wines living in Spain. He was born and raised in Scotland and, after graduating from Aberdeen University with a MA Honours degree in Politics and International Relations, has worked in the wine industry for over 25 years, starting in sales in the UK before moving on to buying and product development.
In the late 1990’s Norrel decided to pursue a career in winemaking and decided the best way was to learn from the cellar up. Norrel went on to work vintages in Chianti in Italy (Tenuta Di Arceno), Portugal (Esporao & Quinta de la Rosa), Australia (Nepenthe), France (Roussely, Touraine) and Chile (Laroche, Casablanca Valley). In 1998, Norrel embarked on the Master of Wine Course and became a Master of Wine in November 2000, winning the Robert Mondavi Award for the best overall theory performance in the exam.
In 2003, he moved to Spain to as Winemaker for International Wine Services and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud, Aragón and decided to start making his own wines. His company – EL ESCOCÉS VOLANTE SL – took off and Norrel now produces many award winning wines made from very specially selected vineyards at high altitude in Aragón, Spain. He also has winemaking projects in Murcia, Valencia and Galicia. His own wines are sold in over 20 markets. He consults for many high profile wineries in Spain and also to winery clients in Chile and South Africa.
EL ESCOCÉS VOLANTE currently owns 21 hectares of Old Vine Garnacha around the villages of Villarroya de la Sierra and Cervera de la Cañada, a collection of vineyards ranging from 45 to 110 years old) and some new plantings. Viticulture is sustainable and organic with certification begin carried out in the up and coming years.
The 2017 vintage is composed of a single vineyard situated at 750 metres at the foot of Sierra Armantes. Glacial/lluvial soil made up of pudding stones, clay, silt and sand. A hot site despite its NE orientation which needs careful mulching with straw and composted organic material to reach proper maturity whilst keeping alcohol in check.
Limited to just over one tonne per hectare due to heavy frost. The grapes were harvested into 20kg cases lightly crushed with the inclusion of 20% whole bunches and fermented in two egg-shaped vessels with gentle punching down only. After pressing and malolactic fermentation, the wine remained sobre lías on gross lees in one 900 litre egg before decanting and bottling without filtration.
A vivid, unoaked expression of Mazuelo (Carignan). Deep purple, unevolved with notes of wild brambles, graphite and earthy undertones. On the palate it displays bright, raspberry fruit flavour, brisk acidity and dusty, earthy tannins and a long, peppery finish. 1076 bottles produced
Origin: Cervera de la Cañada / Aragón / Spain