2014 ‘Carbonicus’ Tempranillo
Region: Granada < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; zero additions, not even SO2; 1,000 meters and the terroir is sandy with large pebbles, alluvial and clay soils. Stainless steel. Unfined/unfiltered.
Winemaker: Ramón Saavedra
This is Tempranillo, but unlike any Tempranillo you’ve probably ever come across. Cauzón is based in Granada Province, high in the hills. The vines (only 2.5 hectares) are around 1,200m above sea level, and the mountain freshness is apparent. This particular wine is fermented by carbonic maceration (where fermentation happens naturally within the grapes instead of by pressing) for 18 days, resulting in a wine that manages to be both fresh and light, and satisfyingly rich at the same time. Maybe because Ramón Saavedra, the charismatic force behind Bodega Cauzón, truly gets the optimal intersection of food and wine, having cooked at a Michelin one-star restaurant on the Costa Brava for 15 years. In 1995 he left the restaurant world behind to study viticulture and oenology, and has been making wine his own way ever since. He’s a rebel who works completely without chemicals in the vineyard or additions of any kind, including SO2, and does not adhere to any DO regulations. Ripe black fruit and fleeting, brambly herbs (is that juniper? sage?), with a nice backbone of acidity. Not going to rock your world in any profound way, but supremely enjoyable and delicious with your Wednesday night leftovers. For maximum enjoyment, chill for 30.