El Escoces Volante is 'The Flying Scotsman', Norrel Robertson MW the first Scottish Master of Wine and a flying winemaker for more than 20 years. In 2003 he arrived with his family in Spain and in 2004 he launched his first wine on the market with the aim of expressing the characteristics of the Garnacha in Calatayud in his wines. Since the 1990s he has gained experience working in different countries, Italy, Portugal, Australia, France, Chile and Australia.
Norrel is a buyer of grapes but is increasingly working with his own vineyards planted to Garnacha Tinto, Carignan, Macabeo and Garnacha Blanca. These are all at very high altitudes of 700-1,000m where summers are extremely hot and winters bitterly cold, especially with winds howling down from the Pyrenees to the north. The combination of climate and old vineyards produces wines rich in flavour but beautifully fresh. Having made wines for Waitrose and many bars and restaurants across the UK, Norrel understands the importance of texture, flavour and drinkability. But his vast knowledge of the worlds' finest wines allows him to frame his own wines with fabulous balance and length, and a poise that can be rare in this part of Spain.
Con Pieles refers to the skin contact used during winemaking, a technique increasingly popular and suitable for semi-aromatic white grapes. It has a complex nose with notes of white pepper and bay leaf, and something yeasty. The palate is very austere, with marked minerality, very tasty. Accroding to Norrel:
'Manda Huevos is nowadays a vulgarism in Spanish borne out of frustration meaning «get out of here» etc , but actually originating from the Latin Mandat Opus meaning you are obliged to do something out of necessity. Our vineyards are within the commune of Villarroya in Calatayud but we felt obliged by necessity to make these wines outside of the Denominación de Origen.
We started making this wine due to the extremely low yields following the large frost event that took place on the 27th of April 2017. We were delighted with the results and the wine proved to be a big hit so we were excited to continue this year. Old Vine Macabeo and Garnacha Blanca from our Carramainas parcel situated at 800 metres altitude go into this wine. Skin contact lasted 9 months followed by ageing in 500 litre barrels for a further 5 months. No sulphur added.
The result is a deep, amber coloured wine full of personality and tension. On the nose, the wine displays aromas of mandarin, dried fruits and nuts and candied liquorice. On the palate, the wine has impressive tannin balanced with dried citrus fruits and a long saline finish. An intense and surprising expression of Old Vine Macabeo.
93 Parker points «2017 had tiny yields as a result of terrible frost, so they only picked some 1,090 kilos of grapes from the 1.5 hectares of old vines, mostly Macabeo (Viura) with some 5% Garnacha Blanca. They fermented the whole bunches in two, 900-liter eggs and was given seven months of skin contact. This is quite unique, perhaps a one-off because of the conditions of the year. It was properly done, refilling the egg to avoid oxidation, keeping everything extremely clean to avoid the development of those cider-like aromas. The character of the skins is clear but doesn’t take over and there are nice quince-like aromas that develop with time in the glass. The palate is very tasty, with fine tannins and an almost salty finish. It should do well with food. Only 750 bottles were filled in June 2018.» – Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate December 2018
Grapes: Macabeo/Garnacha Blanca