2016 Cerro La Barca Vegas Altas Ancestral
Region: Vegas Atlas < Extremadura< Spain
Grapes: Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices; old vines on clay soils; ancestral method, disgorged by hand; no added SO2; 12.5%; 300 casesWinemaker: Juan Sojo & Ángel Luis González
Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers, having studied oenology together and now making wine together. One has a background in agriculture, the other in science. Both are passionate about organic farming, pioneering such practices in this remote region. In fact, they’re still the only organic wine producers in all of Extremadura (the dramatically beautiful region bordering Portugal, in western Spain). The vineyard, located on the banks of the Guadiana River, has a huge amount of biodiversity, which the guys say makes human intervention almost unnecessary. The region is hot and dry, so they harvest at night to maintain freshness and low ABV. This is their ancestral method bubbly (technically a pet’nat) of two local white grapes and some Cab, the red skins of which give the wine it’s gorgeous rose-gold hue. Clean and expressive, it tastes like spring at the seashore, all bright and salty, sunny and zesty.