On this occasion our trip takes us back to the heart of Bierzo. We visited a winery that little by little has become a synonym of quality when it comes to making its wines, it is Bodegas Gancedo, located in the small village of Quilós, León, western Spain.
In the commitment to traditional and artisanal elaboration, the winery has grown from the initial 20 hectares to the 40 hectares currently owned. It includes old vines between 60 and 100 years old, divided into several plots. New vineyards that are used to plant young vines are currently being incorporated. The vineyards mainly host native varieties: Mencía, Godello, and Doña Blanca, with which red wines are made, a rosé and a pair of whites. Located in heights ranging from 550 to 700 meters of altitude, in clay soils with a high content of quartz, and with steep slopes in most cases, the plantations are fully integrated into nature. The harvest is manual, and is committed to a balance with the environment and sustainable development.
Gervolesa, (destined to Mencía), Lamas de Picón, in steep slope, and that arises in the glade of a forest (Godello, Doña Blanca, something of Mencía and of Garnacha), los Almendros (that lodges centenary strains in glass), San Miguel at 700-740 meters high with slopes of 25% (Mencía), or Ucedo, which gives name to the wine that is extracted from the plot, are some of the most emblematic payments of the winery.The Godello and Doña Blanca grapes are used to make whites. While the rosé and the reds are made with Mencía, the quintessential red grape of Bierzo and what promising results it is offering.
El Capricho, Val de Paxariñas, is a young white wine made with Godello and Doña Blanca, of great freshness and fruity; wine to which we dedicate a separate post. Also white is Herencia del Capricho, which is a white wine fermented and raised on its own lees for 13 months, it rests in new French oak barrels almost unroasted. As a curiosity it undergoes cold film maceration for 12 hours before pressing. Fruit, but also a very mineral wine, with body, and with a very marked acidity but perfectly integrated, which provides freshness and longevity.
Capricho, Val de Paxariñas, is also the brand chosen for a rosé wine. Pale pink, onion skin, very fashionable; It is made from vineyards of 30 years old in espalier. Spend only 24 hours in contact with the skin, to acquire its delicate color. It is a very aromatic wine, with aromas that evoke strawberries and roses. On the palate it stands out for its freshness, with a certain sweetness reminiscent of caramel, and balances with its acidity. An alive rosé wine. To say that to elaborate rose with mencía is not something very common, and that there are few wineries that dare with it, and also, for very few years.
In red wine, three brands are made:
Gancedo, perhaps its most commercial wine. It is made from vineyards of 60 years. After vinification in stainless steel tanks, it rests for 6-8 months in French oak barrels. It is a dark cherry wine, with a nose reminiscent of berries and touches of roasted. Fresh, structured on the palate, balanced, it is an easy to drink wine, ideal to combine with a wide variety of dishes, and even to drink alone.
Xestal is a wine of aging of 12 months, but with an excellent behavior in the bottle. Made from Mencía grapes from old vineyards (60-80 years old), it has an excellent finish. We will dedicate a special entry to it.
Ucedo, is the high-end of the winery, wine that does not always come to market, depending on the quality of the vintage. Its production is around 3,000 bottles. This wine comes from three small plots of the place known as Ucedo: La Gervolesa, Los Almendros and Lamas de Picón. The vineyards are more than 80 years old, and some are even centenarians.
Prepared with great care, the least possible intervention is sought. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, and 12 months in new French oak barrels. Its peculiarity lies in that it passes in the cellar between 7 and 8 years, looking for the optimum moment to put it on the market. The result is according to his wine tasting note "an opaque cherry color wine. Aroma: powerful, mineral, slate, wild black fruit as well as some spice, and licorice. In the mouth: concentrated, fatty, powerful, sweet tannins, jam, very persistent and balanced. "