This month our New Wines are Spanish speaking: we are taking you on a journey from Rioja to Maipo Valley in Chile and back to Spain, but to one of the smallest appellations called Pal des Bages, located in Catalunya.
We have selected these new wines in our wine list to showcase lighter, medium and more pronounced styles of organic red wine.
Let’s start with light Rioja wine. Curtains are open and here a story:
“There is a saying that goes “I wanted to change the World, but nothing changed, I changed myself and everything changed”. I believe that really defines my organic philosophy”. My whole life I’ve felt attracted to nature and country life. After too many years working with no fulfilment, at the age of 32 I managed to acquire some land where we built our home and where I started to cultivate a vineyard, olive trees, quince trees and other fruits trees, always being convinced that a healthy, loved and respected soil produces healthy fruits. There, after some successes and some failures, but learning from my mistakes I developed a healthy vineyard based on green vegetables fertilisers, reusing the organic matter…, to achieve great results (a blend of eclectic methods according to Fukuoka, Jean Maria Roger and biodynamic theories) The grapes we produce are taken to an organic winery where we make “Viña Ilusión”. When I started to grow the vineyard this way, my farmer neighbours mistrusted my methods, but after many years they are starting to believe that this is a good way and they are changing their methods for the better. For example, Felipe, who now works with us, has transformed all his land and vineyard into organic agriculture. The initial scepticism has transformed into unbridled enthusiasm.”
There could not be a better description of wine and its philosophy rather than spoken by its creator (his name is Martin).
What you have as a result in this Vina Illusion 2015 Rioja is traditional Rioja Joven which means no oak, but pure fruit. Fresh style, bags of red berries and red fruit, pleasant acidity and vivacious nature.
Uncomplicated, straightforward wine made with certified organic grapes (Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano).
Medium bodied, not too heavy at all, will suit everyone who likes unoaked reds. Pair the wine with meat, cheese, vegetables, pasta, rice.
It is very flexible as there is an abundance of fruit, but it is also quite light not to overpower your food.
It is not 100% Tempranillo, but rather a blend: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Graciano.
Total sulphur is 12 mg/l, so contains very little but for more details please click on the wine link.
Owner Martin added that “unoaked wine that is a throwback to the style of red Rioja drunk by our grand parents”.
We recommend it as it is a good red wine, uncomplicated and sincere, ready for you to drink at your healthier table wine.
We then move to Chile, and our next wine does have a story too! Over 25 years ago, Dan Odfjell the Norwegian Armador (ship owner) fell in love with a small corner of the Maipo Valley. Serendipity would later show that he had found land in Chile’s premium red wine producing valley, where vines has been cultivated for 400 years. While most of the other top producers in Chile are working with relatively young vines, Odfjell have forged an unique reputation based on rediscovering the forgotten wealth of Chile's winemaking past. At the time this was considered a very eccentric move but now the interest in these old sites has grown exponentially, in no small part thanks to Odfjell.
Crafting wines that fully maximise the great potential of the region, this year having joined the new association of Vignadores de Carignan, Odfjell are committed to sustainable agriculture and green winemaking practices, the vineyards are all cultivated organically and biodynamically and are now certified.
So how about a nice and juicy Chilean organic Syrah that displays ultra ripe fruit? This organic red wine (Armador Syrah 2015) manages to combine great depth and richness with clear and precise underlying acidity. Oak underpins that dark blackcurrant and blackberry fruit and sweet spice. Rich and powerful but still softly textured, this wine is another triumph for Chile. We must warn you, these Syrah grapes are ultra ripe and the wine appears slightly on a sweeter side. It has spent 5 month in oak, so everything is very integrated yet the wine is still playful and vibrant.
Food match: pair with all red meat dishes like stews and casseroles or a simple pizza if cooking is not part of the plan.
We finish with even richer wine - Bernat Oller 2013 by Oller de Mas from a minuscule Spanish appellation Pla des Bages. Made of predominantly Merlot grapes and some local Picapoll Negre, this wine is low in alcohol at 12% abv, which is a great achievement by the winemaker. Catalan sun ripens these grapes fully, so you have a very intense red organic wine with a fresh, fruity and spicy flavour profile. Nicely integrated oak, tannins and acidity.
Frank Margenat is the current incumbent, from a family that traces its ownership of the estate back 1000 years. Oller del Mas were granted exclusive growing rights for 7 years since recovering this variety from some odd plants found on the estate. Great story of preserving family traditions for centuries.
We hope that you are excited to try one or several of our new wines that we've got just before Christmas. We'll keep on updating you on the new organic wines in our list. Thank you for your interest in organic wines.