2018 SPANISH COLLECTION
Fontana Bodegas & Viñedos is a leading producer of Estate wines, owning over 600 hectares, and managing a further 400 hectares of sustainably farmed, high-altitude vineyards in Castile, Central Spain. It has been owned by the Cantarero Morales family for over 30 years. Uclés is a region within the Castilla-La Mancha autonomous community of Spain. Located north of La Mancha, south of Mondéjar and east of Vinos de Madrid, Uclés is one of the loftier designations in central Spain. A group of local producers formed a committee in 2002 to promote the area and push for ‘Destination of Origin’ status, which it received in 2005. Bodegas Fontana was a major contributor in bringing about thèse changes. Jesús Cantarero, the current owner, has now brought together a highly experienced, eclectic, multi-national team of wine professionals, including Sam Harrop MW, who produce authentic, contemporary wines of great purity and freshness. The wines offered range from expressive, organically grown varietals to terroir-driven, single- vineyard selections with real depth and complexity.
Unlike other appellations of Castilla-La Mancha, Uclés does not have a uniform landscape. The Sierra de Altomira mountain range divides the region down the middle and into two distinct zones, with the western sector lying at altitudes of 1640ft to 2625ft (500–800 metres) while vineyards in the east can reach 3280ft (1000 metres). The Sierra de Altomira is considered to be the third subzone, with dramatic cliffs and dolomitic limestone.
The overall climate is continental, although the extreme summer temperatures of the central Iberian plateau are moderated by the high altitudes, which also contribute to greater quality and elegance in the wines. Rainfall here is around 20 inches (500mm) a year, making it less parched than other parts of central Spain.
A unique feature of the Uclés DO is a regulation governing the age of its Cencibel Tempranillo vines and the corresponding yields. Vines are classified according to their age and some are more than 40 years old. Wine produced from vines less than six years old are not permitted to have ‘DO Uclés’ on their labels. Next to the reds, Uclés also produces great blanco (white) and rosado (rosé) wines. Prominent white varieties include Verdejo, Moscatel, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Unlike the region’s red wines, a white ‘DO Uclés’ can be made from vines of any age.
Ribera del Duero, Spain
“Bodegas Valderiz’s secret is rooted in the traditional culture of wine-making, which reveals the pleasure in the nature of terroirs and the winemakers personality, from harvest to bottle. We strive for simplicity in our methods by using organic and biodynamic techniques, thus allowing the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero) grapes themselves to reveal their virtues to us”.
Today the vineyards at Bodega y Viñedos Valderiz planted by Tomás Esteban, cover 60 hectares, added to the original 10 hectares of vineyards planted by Tomas’ father, that are carefully preserved. The family is among the pioneers of organic farming in Ribera del Duero. The complete absence of herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers is our trademark. Looking for future improvement, they are introducing biodynamic viticulture.
The typical climate is moderate to low rainfall (450mm per annum) coupled with hot dry summers (max 40 degrees C) and long hard winters (min-10 degrees C). Added to remarkable variations in temperature in all four seasons, this should classify it as a Mediterranean climate, with over 2,400 hours of sun per annum. Importantly this interacts boldly with the fundamentally continental climate typical on this high central plateau in central Spain.
The design of the winery seeks to achieve as natural a wine-making process as possible, so the grapes are harmed as little as possible during their transformation to wine. Their evolution is gentle with prolonged chilled maceration, without being too exacting on the grapes.
Natural yeasts on the grapes create a spontaneous fermentation. Absolutely no artificial wine-making additives (acidifiers, tannins, glucose, enzymes etc) are used. Every detail is important, from the cleanliness of their equipment to frequent tests at every production stage. Commencing three weeks before harvest with analysis of the grapes and continuing until the bottle of wine is finally served to the client. Ageing is done in barrels selected from the best French coopers, using 80% French and 20% American oak. They monitor the quality of their barrels while their coopers make them, controlling the amount of firing each barrel receives. They match specific degrees of firing to the different soil types in our vineyards.
Calatayud/Getariako Txakolina/Montilla-Moriles, Spain
The NK Project – Niki niki, naka, naka!!!
For Pablo Alomar Salvioni, founder of Source the Earth (a fine wine wholesaler in Madrid), it began as a joke when he first shouted it several years ago on a trip to Japan, and now it’s kind of a greeting when they meet friends or are simply very happy!
NK Selections was established with a clear vision to discover artisan high quality wine from exciting vineyards, with wine made with personality. NK Blanco (white) and NK Tinto (red) are both sourced from an amazing vineyard in the Calatyud DO. The vineyards range between 40-100 years old, and are planted with Garnacha, Tempranillo and Macabeo, growing at altitude (950m) on beautiful slopes of slate and clay.
NK Txacoli is sourced from a dry grown 10-40yo vineyard in the Getariako Txakolina DO located on the North Coast of Spain in Basque country. The vineyard is planted with the grape Hondarrabi Zuri, which produces a delicate, crisp white wine with fresh acidity, and lip smacking grapey fruit. Getariako Txakolina DO is one of only three DO’s that produce this unique wine called Chacoli or Txacoli.
NK Fino is produced from 100% Pedro Ximinez grapes grown in the Montilla-Moriles DO. It is aged for six years in American Oak casks, with the classic Solera aging system and the famous veil of flor yeast.
Rias Baixas, Spain
Valmiñor is a modern winery in Rías Baixas with strong Celtic roots. Their mission is to be a leader in the Spanish wine sector. Nature, experience, technology and great customer service have allowed Valmiñor to offer a wide range of wines, not only recognised for their quality and variety, but also for their innovative character.
Carlos Gómez established Valmiñor in 1997 and headed up the project to build and open the new facilities in 2001. An accomplished executive with extensive experience in the wine industry, Carlos built Valmiñor and continued to expand the group holdings to include Bodegas Ebano in Ribera del Duero in 2004.
Despite being a modern winery with cutting-edge technology, Valmiñor is dedicated to honoring their Celtic roots. Each label of Valmiñor portrays four Celtic symbols – rain, sun, air, and land – uncovered from ancient markings excavated on a nearby mountain.
Denomination of Origin (DO) Rías Baixas is renowned for the Albariño grape, an indigenous variety that produces some of the world’s foremost white wines. Located in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain, the DO was formally established in 1988. Albariño has always been the flagship of this coastal region. In Rías Baixas’ unique climate, Albariño shares the same mineral-rich soils and cool climate as the world’s other renowned white wine-producing regions, including France’s Loire Valley, New Zealand, and the Rhine region of Germany.
Winemaker: Cristina Mantilla
Serra Da Estrella