2018 Los Bermejos Listán Negro Maceracion Carbonica

2018 Los Bermejos Listán Negro Maceracion Carbonica

Regular price $28

Region: Lanzarote < Canary Islands < Spain

Grape: Listán Negro

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Uncertified organic farming; extreme volcanic soil of petrified lava, vines planted in a hole as protection from the intense winds; carbonic maceration; minimal So2 at bottling only; 12.5% ABV

Winemaker: Ignacio Valdera

Owned and run by winemaker Ignacio Valdera, Bermejos is on the
easternmost island of Lanzarote, only 125km from the African coast,
where conditions are extreme. A volcanic explosion that lasted from
1730-1736 covered the entire island in lava and ash 3-5 meters deep.
So each vine must be planted in a hole (which they call hoyo) that
breaks through that infertile volcanic crust of petrified lava to the
organic matter that can nourish it. The wind, which acts as a natural
fungicide, is so ferocious that each hoyo is surrounded by rock walls
for protection. Everything that grows on Lanzarote  – including the
vines – grows low to the ground, as there arn't enough nutrients in
the soil to support sprawling greenery. Yields are miniscule and each
berry is concentrated with flavor. All vineyard work is done
meticulously by hand. Some of the wines are certified organic, but
Ignacio supplements his crop with purchased fruit from growers who
share his vision of chemical-free viticulture; with such low yields,
it's the only way he can produce financially sustainable quantities of
wine.  Listán Negro (AKA Listán Prieto or Palomino Negro) is hardly
grown at all on the European mainland -- it was wiped out by
phylloxera -- but it is widely planted on the Canary Islands.

Here, Ignacio gives it the carbo treatment.  (Refresher: carbonic
maceration is a natural enzymatic reaction that happens when grapes
are left in warm environments without any oxygen -- fermentation
happens within the grapes, with no crushing of the skins, so the wine
is made from free run juice without extracting any tannins from the
skins).  How does this translate in the glass?  You get a wine that is
much lighter and fruitier, with barely any tannins, meant to drink
young and with a slight chill.  The color is deceptively dark purple,
but the juice is light and bright, tasting like a mashup of strawberry
yogurt and bubblegum. A little more serious at the end, when a little
tannin creeps in to reveal ta savory mineral, herbal side.  A super
fun wine to brighten up the dark days of Winter 2020.

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