Wine of the month: September rhymes with Bodegas Lacus

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Bodegas Lacus (DOC La Rioja) was founded by Luis Arnedo, an energetic man with a profund love and respect for the roots of his native landThe word Lacus derives from a pond made out of mother rock in which it is used to crush the wine grapes.

This is a small winery with low production. They have around 20 ha of vines, distributed with Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha.

The vinification method of Inedito is very artinasal. For instance, the berries are manually picked and carefully selected usually in mid to late September. Afterwards, the grapes are given a cool maceration treatment for ten days & fermentation happens in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Finally, the wine is aged in stainless steel and is bottled nine months later without fining or filtration.
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Inedito is a very fun wine to drink. With its opaque colour, the wine displays beautiful nuances of licorice and violet. On the mouth, the wine has very good acidity and very accesible tannins. Its flavors remind of red cherries with petal roses with time shedding away and given place to black pepper and smoke with old, cured leather and lots of minerality.

Bodegas Lacus is represented in Quebec by Vini-Vins. Along with Moraza producer, there are two of my favorites natural producers in Riona. Inedito sells privately in case of 12. For under $25, it is a steal.

Wine of the month: Silice Viticultores

Source: Silice Viticultores

Ribeira Sacra is becoming one of the hottest areas in Spain. The Mencia grape is creating a storm in the area. One of the most exciting wine projects is Silice Viticultores. This is a new winemaking project of brothers Juan and Carlos Rodríguez with Fredi ‘Fresquito’ Torres. The idea of this venture was to go back to their roots. They are 3 passionate people of Ribeira Sacra that in 2013 realized their dream of making the finest and elegant wines of Ribeira Sacra. Their vineyards are located in the extreme part of the subzone Amandi. Their winemaking and viticultural philosophy is artisanal in nature with the most respect of their environment. From the beginning of the project, they did decide not to adhere to the d.o.

Source: Silice Viticultores

Silice makes 3 wines  under the  name Sílice. One is  Sílice,  a wine that is born from old mencia grapes with an average age of un vino  60-80 years old. The grapes are manually selected, and  made only in the inox cuvee.  On the other hand, there is the Selección Especial, which comes from the same parcel but from different subzones ,  Both of the wines are made with the stems and aged for 12 months in barriques of 300 litres of different ages. They are both called 302 and 301. They are mostly mencia monovaretials.

The group draw their inspiration of making wine from the Burgundian model of winemaking, that consist of letting each parcel express their own personality. The basic Silice 2013 was made only with the Inox Cuvee but in the future they plan to use wood foudres. This is due since the Mencia grape presents a lot of reduction problems and just the inox do not help the situation. And to conclude Silice is biological tending towards biodynamic viticulture.

Ribeira Sacra Silice 2013 Inox ( Around $26. Private import. Caise of 6. Vini-Vins).

An incredible exquisite and crispy wine born from granite soils in Ribeira Sacra. This wine has a prodigal red fruit character. If i have to compare, it reminds me of the Morgons of Marcel Lapierre. On the mouth, the wine has a sensual and subtle fruit expression verging toward a Pinot Noir profile. Very easy an incredible to resist now but could age easy for the next 5-years. 93\100. Perfect for the warm summer nights.

Is Sierra the Gredos, the new eldorado of Spain?

Every once in a while, I come across undiscovered gems when I buy wine in the private importation network of Quebec. This ocurred to me a while ago. I was browsing through the list of current release of one my favorite agencies, Vini-Vins, when the name of Comando G stroke my eye.  Since, I never heard them, i started doing a bit of research.

Comando G

Daniel G. Jiménez to the left and Fernando García. Photo: blogs.20minutos.es

Comando G is a joint venture between two young and upcoming spanish winemakers, Fernando García (Bodegas Marañones) and Daniel Gómez Jiménez Landi. The pair discovered a very singular vineyard which was the highest in the D.O Vinos de Madrid. It has an altitude between 900 and 1,100 meters in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. This tiny vineyard consist only of 3 ha of very old vineyards in poor granite soils. From there, they started scouting other vineyards in the Gredos mountain range and they now they have close to 10 ha of very old garnacha between the ages of 50 and 80 years old. They farm biodinamically and this energetic duo have a passion to rescue abandoned vineyards and restore the agriculture tradition of the area. I can draw the comparison with the work that Alvaro Palacios in the Priorat was doing in the beginning of the 90’s.

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Garnacha vines in the Sierra de Gredos Photo: blogs.20minutos.es

In the US, the proyect has already been discovered by prestigious wine importer Eric Solomon. In a recent article ( In Search of a wine with a star quality) by Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal, Solomon praises Comando G as being one of ” the most exciting new projects in Spain today.”. Miss teague also comments by saying that the wines of Comando G are like a meeting Burgundy and Rhone Valley in high altitude Spain.I can relate with Miss teague wine description, as i found in their entry level wine, Las Brujas Averias many elements that were present in a southern Rhone wine. But i was, the purity of the red fruit that strikes the most. I can see why Miss teague is reminded by Burgundy. Las brujas, makes me already think of a entry level Volnay. But anyways, I can getting ahead of myself.

The label design of Las Bruja Averia, a witch in different poses and different background colours-each bottle is different draws its inspiration from Japanese and Spanish animation cartoons. The idea of this two young winemaekrs is to take out some of the snootiness in the world of wine. La bruja see 7 months in barrel aging. Their entry level wine is easy to drink but quite complex too.  They also make different single vineyards bottling such as  Rozas and  Umbrías). They also make two special bottlings called  Rumbo al Norte and  El Tamboril 2012.Vini-Vins, their representant in Quebec carry all of the cuvees except for las Rozas.

La Bruja Averia 2013. D.O Vinos de Madrid.

Crazy nose bringing to mind a nirvana of red fruits, touches of cream with lots of floral components such as roses, lilacs and wild thym. In addition, intriguing nuances of dry spices. Moreover, with some time in the bottle, notes of wild oregano and pencil shavings develop. On the mouth, round with lots of substance and texture. Very fresh in the palate with lots of earthy character. Wonderful dusty and sandy tannins with a streamlined mineral finale. 93\100

Souvenirs from Valencia: Parotet Rouge 2012

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After a brief interruption I am back, I was stunned by a nasty cold and its very difficult to concentrate on tasting wine and writing when your body aches and your nose is blocked.

Vermell 2012 is a wine made by Celler del Roure in Moixent, Valencia. The most important characteristic f this wine is that is aged 4-6 months in clay vessels underground.

The wine is a blend of varieties Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera and local variety Mando. All this varieties are grown at high altitudes in Valencia. Above 600 meters, I believe. This combined with the cold mediterranean winters give the varieties a very aromatic profile.

The estate has a very old underground cellar in which they have almost 100 clay vessels buried underground. This antique cellar was believed to be built-in the first balf of the XVII, of which can be implied that those clay ” containers” have almost 300 years.

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The estated is owned by Pablo Calatayud. In 1995, he decided to extend his vineyard holdings and build a state of the art cellar. Quickly Celer del Roure became the leadetrs of quality wine in Valencia. The estate has received important acclaim from the international wine press including Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson. Actually, she raved about Parotet, the big brother of Vermell, which is mostly a blend of Mandó with the remainder of Monastrell.

Celer del Roure has always invested in indigenous Valencian varieties such as Mando (red) and Verdil (white). historically the local wines made out of this varieties had always been fermented and aged in Tinajas. The Spanish version of Amphoras.

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Celler del Roure Vermell 2012
D.O Valencia

On the nose, fine aromas of red and black fruits in coulis with lots of balsamic nuances. Very peppery with crushed dry mediterranean herbs, zaatar? maybe. Also hints of dry pimenton. Violets as well ( paprika  soft animal nuances, leather and game fur comes to mind. Could pass easily for a cotes du Rhone. In the mouth, full body. Fresh tasting and round with a sublime elegance. Harmonious with a tarry tannins at the end of the palate. 92\100.

Celler del Roure is represented in Quebec by Vini-Vins. For more information on availability on this wine, please contact Valeriane Pare at: valeriane@vini-vins.com.