Listan negro is a brash, bold grape that slightly brings to mind Zinfandel with a deeper fruit flavor. It’s the marquee grape for the burgeoning Canary Islands wine growing region, where volcanic soil allows for the vines to not be grafted. Somehow when I visited the Canary Islands two years ago, I never even tried a local wine. That’s a big regret. These wines have one of the strongest expressions of terroir, with a taste and texture nowhere else can come close to replicating. This gives the wines strong spice and fruit notes, with firm structures, but very few if any tannins. Since the wines, such as this 2010 from Monje Hollera, are inspired by France’s Beaujolais nouveau production, the wines are served young. Luckily, they achieve a maturity well beyond their years.
This 2010 Listan negro is tannin free, with a strong taste of ash and hefty nose of plum. Some allspice notes come through along with bing cherries. Since I think of Zinfandel as a fair comparison in structure and earthy notes, here is a fine companion for your next rack of lamb. It’s a wine that makes you think, in a good way. Listan negro might be young and still just getting its footing, but watch out for an eruption of wines from the Canary Islands.