Alfredo Maestro La Cosa (The Thing) 2019
Alfredo Maestro’s deliciously addictive small-plot beauties, gathered from ancient majuelos (tiny, old-vine parcels) scattered throughout Ribera del Duero and the Sierra de Gredos. Today he works fifty or so majuelos (some consisting of just a few rows of vines), many of which have been donated by traditional owners who know he will coax the best out of their precipitous, high plots and extremely old vines.
This highly unique character is one of the founding fathers of the natural wine movement in Spain: all Alfredo Maestro’s wines are organic; there are no additions (not even sulphur); and élevage is always in neutral vessels to preserve the high-altitude purity and terroir-driven minerality that he’s able to mine off his remarkable sites. All this he manages to do whilst maintaining stability and tradition, precariously balanced with contemporary styling. The wines are fresh and modern, but still show regional depth and intensity.
This kooky number comes off a small plot of Muscat of Alexandria, located in Valtiendas in the province of Segovia. It has rocky clay soil, and sits at a height of 1,000 metres above sea level. The grapes were harvested by hand with a high presence of botrytis (90%), and then hung for a further two months to dehydrate and concentrate the sugars and flavours. The grapes were pressed around Christmastime, and then fermented naturally in stainless steel with no corrections or additions. The fermentation was long and slow and at a low temperature. The wine was racked immediately after this was complete and aged in bottle until release.