Alfredo Maestro - Viña Almate 2016
From the importer-
"Viña Almate" is the name of the first vineyard that Alfredo planted and gives the name to his bodega and to his entry-level Duero wine. This cuvée is made from fruit sourced from various plots of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), of varying vine ages located, in Valtiendas at 1000m elevation, as well as Peñafiel, at 700m. The wine is 80% whole cluster fermented in steel vat with 15-20 days of maceration, and raised for 4 months in neutral French oak with one racking. Unfined, unfiltered, and very low SO2. The result is a very pure and classic medium to full-bodied Duero wine with notes of red fruits, spice, flowers, and minerals. A great wine to pair with grilled and roasted meats.
The affable iconoclast Alfredo Maestro started making wine in the late 1990’s when he planted his first vineyard, Almate, near his hometown in the Ribera del Duero. From the beginning, he set out to farm his vineyard organically. In the cellar though, Alfredo was teaching himself enology from a book, using every winemaking trick to make a “correct” Ribera del Duero: yeasts, acid, enzymes, tannins, color-enhancers, etc. Finally, in the early 2000’s Alfredo had a revelation. He started questioning as to why, as an organic farmer, was he using chemicals to make the finished wine. He began eliminating exogenous products and, in 2003, began making wine without any additives, including sulfur. Over the past few years, he has been searching out abandoned or neglected vineyards around the Ribera del Duero and Madrid to convert to organic farming. Gradually, Alfredo has increased production, and now has 9ha and two small bodegas. He has emerged as one of the most lauded and dynamic natural winemakers in all of Spain. His wines are rich, pure, bright, and show everything there is to like about the Duero, minus the fake oak-addled spoof tactics that have dominated the wine styles in the region for years.