August 26, 2016
It all started with a Twitter message nearly four years ago. We were in NY, at another industry tasting, when our attention was turned to Alvaro de la Viña, and his small Spanish portfolio of “Vinos Vivos – wines that are intact and alive”. We made attempts to get these wines, but every attempt turned into a dead end. Until now. We just received our first drop of Alvaro’s wines, and we pretty much feel like kids on Christmas morning. We know how special all of these wines are, and how limited most of them are, so we feel extra lucky to have them in our shop. We’re opening up four wines tonight, including a Cava, because clearly we need some bubbles to celebrate! Feel free to join us in welcoming the Selections de la Viña portfolio to Campus – and here’s to patience, perseverance, and Alvaro’s willingness to share!
Vía de la Plata Cava Brut Nature NV
In 1985, Aniceto Mesías was the first producer in Extremadura to become part of the D.O. Cava. Now three other producers in the region have joined him, and although he is no longer working in the cellars, Aniceto has left his legacy in the capable hands of Luis Miguel Calleja. Luis Miguel worked for years at some of the regions large co-ops, and was eager to make wines of quality rather than quantity. The vineyards, which are controlled by Via de la Plata, are farmed traditionally and non-invasively, and are planted to Macabeo, Parellada and Chardonnay. All work in the underground cellar is by hand, in the traditional champenoise method.
This Cava is 70% Macabeo and 30% Parellada, aged for 9 to 25 months before being disgorged. We can’t wait to toast with it!
Marenas Viñedo y Bodega “Montepilas” 2015 Andalusia
José Miguel Márquez is one of the youngest winemakers in Montilla, a town in the heart of Andalusia known for producing both fortified and unfortified wines in the style of sherry, usually known simply as Montilla. The white grapes planted on his 6 hectares are Montepila, Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez. In 1998, in an effort to recover a lost tradition, José Miguel was the first in the region to replant red grapes. Now he also works (mostly) with Monastrell, Tempranillo, Syrah and Pinot Noir.
José Miguel works naturally both in the vineyard and the cellar, with zero additives and no sulfur. He uses grass and cover crops to prevent soil erosion and give life to the soil through the diversity of plantings. Yields in this region, and on this property, are exceptionally low.
Montepilas is a skin-fermented, unfiltered, unfined, no sulfur white that gets everything right. It’s a little nutty (yeah, kind of funky too, but here we’re talking actual nuts, like almonds and walnut skin); it’s slightly oxidative but not oxidized; it’s clean, balanced, perfect acid, hints at peaches and bread crust – and then has an ever-so-slight sherried finish. We dig it. Only 250 cases produced, as far as we know. Like we said, we’re lucky to have some in our shop.
MicroBio Correcaminos Red 2015, Castilla y León
Ismael Gozalo is known locally as “El Mago de las Verdejos” or the Wizard of Verdejo. Take a look at his cellar, and you’ll see why. Is that wine or are we in a Game of Thrones episode?
The importers words say it best: “he practices his sorcery in his medieval underground cellar located in his native town of Nieva. Barrels, fudres, anforas, damejeannes, stainless…young, old, skin contact, sparkling, biological and oxidative aging…you name it, he’s got it…Ismael’s family owns some of the oldest (between 100-200 years old) ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines, most of which in the town of Nieva, province of Segovia between 800-900 meters of altitud. Characterized by it’s sandy soils, these head trained vines have never seen any chemicals over the different generations that have cared for them”.
Many are familiar with Ismael through his role at Ossian in Rueda, where he worked as winemaker and winegrower since its founding in 2004. But MicroBio, his solo project since 1998, is where his passion lies, and that is where you will find him these days.
Correcaminos is 100% Tempranillo from 70 year old vines planted on slate soil, fermented in stainless steel, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, with no added SO2. Correcaminos is juicy and vibrant, with flavors of cherries and plums, earthy-dried spice notes, and a touch of anise. Serve with a slight chill.
Marenas Cerro Encinas Tinto 2014, Monastrell, Andalusia
See producer note above.
Cerro Encinas Tinto is 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre) fermented with indigenous yeasts for 15 days in stainless steel, where it then macerates for 20 to 40 days until it’s transferred to American and French oak for 6 to 12 months of aging. This wine is a bit of a beast. It’s opaque, and the nose is intense – kind of a smoky, petrol-y, thing going on. On the palate it’s big, dark and imposing, with coffee, figs, savory spices, and chewy tannins. Apply protein and this beast reveals its softer side. This wine is also unfiltered, unfined and with no added SO2. Approx. 400 cases produced.