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El Escoces Volante
Spain - Aragon

Founded in 2003, El Escocés Volante – “The Flying Scot” – is based in Aragón, Spain. The operation is dedicated to the production of high-quality wines, with a particular focus on the native varieties, especially Garnacha.

Owner Norrel Robertson has been making wine in Spain for over 10 years and is currently the only Master of Wine 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 the last 20 years, starting in sales before moving on to buying and product development.

In the 1990´s Norrel decided to pursue a career in winemaking & committed to learning from the cellar up. He worked vintages in Italy (Chianti), Portugal, Australia, France and Chile. 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 2002-2003, Norrel studied the Postgraduate Viticulture and Oenology course at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, obtaining his postgraduate qualification with distinction. He moved to Spain in 2003, as Winemaker for International Wine Services, and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud. He decided to start making his own wines, and he released his first in 2004.

Norrel now produces many award-winning wines made from select high altitude-vineyards in Aragon. He also has winemaking projects in Murcia, Andalucia and Galicia. His own wines are sold in over 15 markets, and he consults for many high profile wineries in Spain, as well as importers in the UK .

Reviews and News

El Escoces Volante - WA #248 - April 2020

El Escoces Volante - WA #248 - April 2020

wa"I tasted via videoconference with Norrel Robertson, the flying Scotsman ("el Escocés volante"), during the Covid-19 lockdown, and he presented a majority of 2018s, a fantastic vintage in many parts of Spain, including Aragón and more specifically Calatayud, the main place where he works. After the catastrophic 2017 when he lost 75% of the crop to frost, comes a year of freshness and fragrant, delicate and juicy wines when there's a shift to using more of their own grapes from the village of Villarroya de la Sierra, a cooler, higher altitude place with red clay and limestone soils rather than the slate found in other parts of the appellation. Some are sold without Calatayud appellation because they are fermented outside the appellation's limits (one of the nonsenses of the rules of the appellations of origin in Spain), and of course, he also works in Galicia, Murcia and Valencia. He produces a grand total of 300,000 bottles per year. Many wines are produced in Flextank (plastic) eggs; he only has a couple of concrete eggs, used for Es Lo Que Hay and En Sus Trece. The wines are exuberant and showy, round and lush, not shy.

2020 started with the purchase of a 4.7-hectare site on the outskirts of the village of Cervera de La Cañada, where he plans to consolidate production of his own 26 hectares of vineyards under the same roof. Other than preserving some old vineyards, he has also planted some new ones for the future, and he is planning to plant more in the coming years. Among the old vineyards is a new jewel in the crown, a 1.2-hectare stony plot planted in the 1930s with red Garnacha (Fina) and some other local varieties; it was first fermented separately in 2019.- Luis Gutiérrez"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #248, April 2020)

El Escoces Volante - WA - November 2021

El Escoces Volante - WA - November 2021

wa"Norrel Robertson is El Escocés Volante. He now works with 32 hectares of vineyards in the region of Calatayud, and he's going to plant three or four more hectares around the new winery he's planning to build in the village of Cervera de la Cañada. He now produces around 250,000 bottles and a total of 15 labels. In Calatayud, 2019 was slightly warmer and drier than 2018 but not as extreme as in other zones of Aragón, as Calatayud is cooler and the vineyards are at higher altitude. 2020 saw more rain in the spring and a very early harvest; it was an early but complete cycle of a very elegant and balanced vintage. 2020 has the juiciness of 2018 but the wines are more elegant. The wines from 2019 are tannic from lower yields, a little in the style of 2005, a very dry year. The wines from 2019 are evolving nicely and should develop in bottle. The 2020s are more immediate, perhaps not as long lived as the 2019s but very pleasant and easy to drink already. - Luis Gutiérrez"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021)

Producer Details
Founded
2004
Location
Spain
Wine Production Area
Spain - Aragon - Calatayud
Owners
Norrel Robertson MW
Winemaker
Norrel Robertson MW
Acreage
3 acres (13 hectares)
Grape Varietal(s)
Garnacha
Age of Vines
45-110 years
Agricultural Practices
organic