Wednesday, May 3, 2017

DV: Descalzos Viejos (A Charming winery)

Thanks to Flavio Salesi, (co-owner of the DV cellar with the Retamero family), and his winemaker Vicente Inat, we visit one of the most charming wineries of the wine region (D.O.) Sierras de Málaga, Descalzos Viejos.

The project started in 1998, and in 2002 launched its first vintage in an experimental mode. It is therefore a veteran in one of the most recent wine region (D.O.) of the Spanish geography. Located on the slopes of the Tajo de Ronda, its location offers an astonishing view over its own vineyards and the city of Ronda. A former trinitarian monastery which origin dates back to 1505 is the site of the current winery in a land that for some time forgot about wine, but nowadays has decided to take up the wine tradition with renewed strength.

Ronda, from Roman times, and even under Arab domination, was always a reputed land of wines, and it was not until the arrival of the phylloxera plague between 1880 and 1892 that its vineyards were devastated, and for much of the twentieth century its production was a flash in the pan. But at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, several winegrower families decided to produce wine with new grape varieties that adapted well to the climatic conditions of the area.

In this context, Descalzos Viejos has six hectares of own vineyard and four others under lease. On their farms are the Syrah, Garnacha, Graciano, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties (a variety that is gradually being replaced because it does not offer appetizing results). Chardonnay is added to them to produce white wines. They are varieties that adapt very well to the climate, very hot in summer, cold in winter, little rainfall, and an altitude that oscillates between 600 and 650 meters. Soils clayy, and also stony where the different vineyards are distributed. In addition, as Vicente Inat points out, the peculiarity of Ronda is very important, the possibility of finding vineyards exposed both to Mediterranean and Atlantic influence, due to the proximity to both seas. This factor will give the definitive seal of identity to its wines to which it wants to print a marked character of "terroir".

Their bet is quality wines versus quantity. Taking care of all the processes associated with viticulture, such as manual harvesting, or the nature itself that balances the vineyard, avoiding to the maximum the use of pesticides. Olive trees and oaks accompany the vines. They are wines with personality, where the mineral is imposed on the fruit and the wood, maintaining a degree of acidity acceptable so that these wines of high graduation are fresh and appetizing.

DV 14 is its youngest wine and the one that counts on more production. Made from the varieties Garnacha, Syrah and Merlot, it has an aging of 6 months in oak barrels. It is a wine that combines well the balsamic touches with red fruit, and balsamic notes. Long drink, easy to drink.

DV Aires, made from Petit Verdot basically, which is the one that brings the most mineral and balsamic notes, and Grenache, which gives it fruity and color. With an aging of 16 months in French oak, it is a very aromatic wine, persistent in the mouth, with toasted notes and black fruits; Fresh and silky at the same time.

Iusta and Rufina, both make up the collection of two single-varietal wines: DV Las Santas. Iusta is a garnacha-based wine hand-picked and macerated and fermented with part of the scrape. For its aging 500 liter barrels were used where it remained 16 months. Beautiful cherry color, very mineral and balsamic stands out for its perfect balance, with a very nuanced acidity. A wine that perfectly reflects the concept of "terroir", and which is fresh and persistent. Rufina is made with Syrah. Also collected manually and macerated and fermented with the scrape. It has a violaceous color, more typical of young wines, than a wine with 16 months in barrel. It has the peculiarity that oak barrels of 500 liters have been previously naturally flavored with sweet wine from the region of La Axarquía. The nose is complex, with balsamic and mentholated aromas. In the mouth it is very mineral, with a round and balanced end. A full wine, a "terroir" wine.

DV Chardonnay is pale golden in color, with fragrances of white fruit like apricot or peach, along with a marked acidity in the mouth that brings you freshness. The breeding of three months in lees gives it structure. A long drink wine.

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