94 Points - Parker
El Yesal is a 100% Garnacha from Navarra. The wine takes its name from the centennial vineyard near the village of Tirapu where the grapes grow on steep slopes. The vineyard is shaped like an amphitheatre with an Eastward orientation and is located on an ancient yesera (quarry), once used by the villagers to harvest stone for construction. This means the vines grow in very unique white rocky soils composed mostly of magnesium and calcareous stone.
Predominant aromas of red fruit, strawberries and cherries. On the palate it's surprisingly easy-going with a light rustic quality. Notes of dried cherries in the mouth with rustic fruit intensity to finish.
As with all of Luis Moya's projects, the vines are cared for by hand without the use of any chemicals and the wine is made sustainably with very low intervention. Bottled, labeled, and lacquered by hand.
According to Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate magazine LMT Wines is considered "one of the very exciting new projects in Navarra". Navarra is the region sandwiched between La Rioja, Basque Country, Aragon, and the southern border of France. Internationally, it's best known for the Fiestas de San Fermín which occur every year in the capital of Pamplona.
L, M , and T are quite simply the initials of the excellent winemaker behind this project, Luis Moya Tortosa.
Luis likes to call himself a "Nomadic Winemaker" since, as of yet, he doesn't own any vineyard. Instead, he moves through the land, finding and reviving old vineyards in Navarra, predominantly of Garnacha, and in the area of Rioja bordering Navarra, where he also works with the Graciano variety. He rents the spaces in which he makes his nomadic wines.
For now, Luis works with 5 hectares of very old vineyards in various areas, producing about 12,000 bottles of wine a year, some of them together with his good friend and winemaker, Gonzalo Celayeta.
Annual Production: 1500 bottles (The club has access to 80 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: fruity, rustic
Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable and low intervention - Terroir Driven
Ageing: used 500-liter oak barrels and damajuanas
Winemaker: Luis Moya Tortosa
Bodega: LMT Wines
Region: near Tirapu in Navarra
Designation of Origin: No DO, private project in Navarra
Micro-Climate: Continental - hot and dry summers and cold and cloudy in the winters
Elevation: 360 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: centennial vineyard over 100 years
Soil: calcareous stone and magnesium
- Drink now or keep for up to 10 years
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 15-20 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at 16 Celsius
El Yesal is located near the town of Tirapu, near the border between Navarra and Rioja in Northern Spain. The vineyard is shaped like an amphitheatre with an Eastward orientation and is located on an ancient yesera (quarry), once used by the villagers to harvest stone for construction. This means the vines grow in very unique white rocky soils composed mostly of magnesium and calcareous stone. In Tirapu, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are cold and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 0°C to 28°C and is rarely below -5°C or above 34°C.
VinificationManually sorted and harvested in small crates. The grapes are destemmed with a percentage being left in whole bunches for foot treading. Naturally fermented with indigenous yeasts and bacteria.
Low intervention, no clarification or filtration, this is a pure wine “without any makeup” as Luis likes to say.
Luis Moya Tortosa was born in Burlada, a municipality in the outskirts of Pamplona, Navarra's capital.
Right after Luis graduated as Technical Agricultural Engineer, he started to manage and run a bar in Burlada.
As Luis says, he was the one that drank the most wine in that bar, and a large variety of wines, not only from Navarra. This is when he really started to fall in love with the culture of wine.
He began working in the Cooperative Winery of Aibar, a municipality east of Pamplona.
Since he was already fully involved in wine culture he decided to make it official. He enrolled in the Masters of Oenology, Viticulture and Marketing at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).
After achieving his Master's degree, he spent a few years working in research and helping in the production of Navarra's Institutional Wine at the Institute of Oenology and Viticulture (EVENA).
Whilst working at EVENA, he graduated in Oenology at the University of La Rioja, and he completed his studies achieving Level 3 at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET 3).
Then, working as an oenologist at the "Vitivinícola de Cárcar" he began producing his first wine, which was Masusta in 2012.
In Luis' own words translated from Spanish "My passion for the world of wine not only pushes me to produce different wines but also gives me the opportunity to travel to areas that I haven't yet explored and discover terroirs from which I can learn and draw inspiration. My world circles around Navarra and Rioja; in Navarra the Garnachas give me all my joy, and in Rioja the innumerable variety of different terroirs never cease to amaze me."
Ratings & Reviews
94 Points - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
"The elegant and powerful 2018 El Yesal feels very complete, with a chalky texture and the minerality from the limestone-rich soils. It comes from a centenary Garnacha vineyard that delivered a superb wine in 2018, a wine that combines ripeness and full flavours at 15% alcohol with balance and subtleness. It has very fine tannins and a great mouthfeel, finishing dry and very tasty with an almost salty touch. 1,500 bottles were filled in October 2020."