Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate 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.
For the 2019 vintage, the grapes came from different plots, mainly from the area of Nava de Roa (in the province of Burgos). The grapes were hand-harvested and crushed but not destemmed. Fermentation of each plot was kept separate and occurred in stainless steel tanks, with natural wild yeast, daily pump overs, and absolutely no corrections or additions. After a maceration of 12-15 days the wine was racked and left for spontaneous malolactic fermentation. After 30 days it was racked again to remove impurities and solid residues and encourage natural stabilization. Given the natural nature of its upbringing, it is normal for some precipitates to appear in the bottle during its lifetime.