Bodegas Maestro Tejero
El Marciano 2018
100% Garnacha (my favorite)
Vino de la Tierra de Castillo y León
Sierra de Gredos, Navarredondilla, Avila, Spain
Biodynamic and organic (but not certified); wild yeasts
Winemaker: Alfredo Maestro
Deep purple ruby goblet. Scents of dark flowers, deep cherry, black pepper, and sweet ripe yellow plums. First taste is a snappy cherry, orange, pepper, earthy funk, and throw in some cardamon. Sweetness yet then tangy. It’s such an interesting combo on each sip. Going from the fruit, pepper, sweet and earth and back around again. Light and fresh and young
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: more tangy earth
Alfredo Maestro is another one of those amazing self taught winemakers that I keep stumbling upon in my wine wanderings. Started out as an economist with interest in wine, so he picked up some books, started with trial and error and testing on his friends to see where it would go. The less chemicals and more natural/old school he went…the more he and his test subjects knew he was on to something. As the old saying goes…less is more. He also learned to listen to the land, the plants, and revert to an old school tractor known as a horse. So let’s talk about the label on “El Marciano” which means the Martian. The village Navarredondilla atop of Sierra de Gredos is a hot spot for checking out UFOs. According to Alfredo, he found two Martians working in his vineyard and thus the tale was born. So here’s the question, do Martians like wine? And if so have their been sightings of tipsy weaving UFOs in the area? Either way, this wine is fun and fabulous and as the David Bowie song title says, I’m “Loving The Alien”.
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La Gatta Mormigliana 2016
El Tiemblo, Ávila, Sierra de Gredos, Spain
Winemaker: Fabio Bartolomei
Organic (just not certified, you’ll see why below)
This is the deepest dark goth purple which fits the label. Starts out with dark funk and grass scents. Very quickly that all turns into deep cherry, dark plum, oddly coriander that become cloves, and then licorice. This wine keeps evolving like crazy. First sip is deep sweet cherry, raisin, prune and plum. Something toasty emerges. There’s a touch of bitter bit at end, like pecan hulls that get left in after you shell them and think it’s all just meat. Here it goes changing again and it’s all fruit. I had been cautioned about this wine because I was told it might be too funky for me. Nope! It has funk but not to the extent I been told. In the end it is smooth and romantic. Not what you would expect from a giant monster cat nightmare.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: super sweet fruit with just a hint of the funk
Fabio Bartolomei is the outsider artist of wine. He has no training in winemaking, and during his start he worked out of garages, stables, etc. If La Gatta Mormigliana is any example of the rest of his wines, he’s freaking brilliant. The name comes from a story his father recounted to him of a fearsome cat with iron teeth and steel whiskers, that would say “Chi vien giù lo mangio” (If you come in, I’ll eat you…). If anyone knows where to find more on this tale, please do reach out to me. Sounds like a good scare. Fabio is also very adamant about making natural and organic wine, but bucks the certification. Here it is in his own words, “I refuse to certify because I believe that the polluters should pay for the damage they are doing to the environment, not the clean farmers”. Because of this, the bottle has a back label with a lengthy list of what it doesn’t contain, what processes it went through and what he didn’t do to it.
Would also like to give credit to the two label artists: Francesco de Aguilar and José Perico. That is one scary cat!
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