What an intense week!
The Pirates have been quite busy lately.
Yet, they won't stop us from doing what we love.
Rafa Bernabé, one of the most lauded and dynamic natural winegrowers in all of Spain.
The wines of Rafa Bernabé
are on the water!
For those of you who don't know Rafa yet, below are a few words about the man. (Via the esteemed Wine Terroirs
"I got the chance recently to taste a few wines from Spain, and from a region (D.O.) which you could think is very hot for wine: Alicante. The winegrower Rafael Bernabe is doing there a very careful job on both side of the winemaking, that is the vineyard (not herbicides, no synthesis products) and the cellar (no correction, no lab yeast, no enzymes and no SO2 adding). The wine I liked particularly among the ones I tasted from this winery was the cuvée Los Cipreses de Usaldon 2010
, a 100 % Garnacha Peluda (or Grenache Gris). Is it the altitude (700 meters) or the age of the vines (50) or the careful winemaking and semi-carbonic maceration, I don't know but the wine was a very nice experience with an overall feeling of velvety tannins and complex aromas of garrigue and dry leaves. You wouldn't have guessed the wine was made in a region which you imagine as hot, it was balanced and easily drinkable.
Another cuvée I liked was El Morron
, a similarly velvety wine with well-integrated tannins and a good length. Made from Garnacha and samely unfined & unfiltered.
The winery is also making a rosé named Musikanto 2011
which is a relatively-easy drinking wine in spite of its alcohol, giving a feel of liveness and truth. This wine went through two fermentations in 450-liter amphorae with natural temperature stabilization outside in the open. Check that wine too if you have the opportunity." - Wine Terroirs
Some of the wines arriving soon to our shores...
The Real Wine Newsletter
If you love bubbles, Issue#5
is packed with some pretty cool content. (Including a few JPS recommendations.)
You can take a quick look below.
Click on the pic to zoom in.
Ladies and Gentleman,
May is here.
To learn more about our Llaurador of the month, please click here.
May God bless you and grant you all your heartfelt desires.
New Releases from Alfredo Maestro
by Christopher Barnes
The affable iconoclast Alfredo Maestro started making wine in the late 1990’s when he planted his first vineyard Almate on the Rio Duraton near his native town of Peñafiel in the Ribera del Duero. From the beginning he set out to farm his vineyard organically. In the cellar, Alfredo was teaching himself enology from a book, using every winemaking trick to make a “correct” Ribera del Duero wine: yeasts, acid, enzymes, tannins, color-enhancers, etc. 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 9 hectares and two small bodegas, one located in his native Peñafiel in the Ribera del Duero, and the other in the Navalcarnero area, southwest of Madrid. He has emerged as one of the most lauded and dynamic natural winemakers in all of Spain. We at JPS feel extremely honored to represent The Magician in the Duero, Alfredo Maestro, in the U.S.A. His wines are rich, pure, bright, and show everything there is to like about Duero and Madrid wines, minus the fake oak-addled spoof-tactics that have dominated the wine-styles in these two regions.
Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate 2011 75% of this cuvee comes from 80+ year old Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines from the Valtiendas area, just south of the Ribera del Duero, grown on river stones over clay soils at 1,000 meters altitude. 25% of the cuvee is from young Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines planted on sand and alluvial deposits over clay on the River Duraton at 700 meters. 30% whole cluster, fermented with wild yeasts in vat, and raised for 4 months in used French oak. 10,000 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro Castrillo de Duero 2010 From a single vineyard, called La Ladera, of 70 year old Tinto Fino vines grown on clay-loam soils at 1050 meters elevation in the municipality of Burgos, Ribera del Duero. 20% whole cluster fermented with wild yeasts in vat, and raised for 12 months in used French oak. 3,600 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro La Olmera 2010 From a single namesake vineyard of 30 year old Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines on a clay calcareous slope at 800 meters elevation in the Bocos del Duero, Ribera del Duero. Destemmed, wild yeast fermented in vat, with long maceration (20-30 days), and raised for 1 year in old French oak. 600 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro La Guindalera 2010 Grown on the same slope just a stones throw from La Olmera, the soils are a bit more clay, and the vines are 15 years old. Vinified and aged the same way as Olmera. 600 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro Terruños de Castilla 2010 From two vineyards, Olmera and Guindalera, of 15 to 30 year old Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines grown on calcareous clay soils at 800 meters in the Bocos del Duero, Ribera del Duero. Destemmed, fermented with wild yeasts in vat, and raised in older French oak for 12 months. 600 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro Lovamor Albillo 2011 From 100-120 year old vines grown on clay-limestone at 800 to 1100 meters elevation. 6 days skin contact, fermented and aged in small steel vats with nothing added or taken away.400 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro Amanda Rosado 2011 From a single vineyard, called El Cuchillejo, of 60 year old Garnacha Tintorera vines grown on clay calcareous soils at 930 meters elevation in the Olmos de Duero valley, Ribera del Duero. 3-5 hours skin contact, fermented in small stainless steel vats, and bottled early with nothing added and nothing taken away. 500 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro La Viñuela 2010 From a single vineyard of 70 year old Garnacha and Tempranillo vines, 50/50, grown at 900 meters elevation in the Navalcarnero area of Vinos de Madrid. The vineyard has been farmed organically since 2008. Destemmed, fermented in small stainless steel vats, and raised for one year in 2nd year French oak. 500 bottles produced.
Alfredo Maestro A Dos Tiempos 2011 From a single vineyard of 30 year old Tempranillo and Garnacha vines grown on sand and clay at 730 meters elevation in the Navalcarnero area of Vinos de Madrid. The name A Dos Tiempos, “at two times”, comes from the fact the vineyard was harvested twice, three weeks apart. Destemmed, fermented with wild yeasts in vat, and raised for 5 months in used French oak. 3,000 bottles produced
Alfredo Maestro Garnacha 2010 From 100 year old vines grown on clay-calcareous soils at 725 meters elevation in the town of Peñafiel, Ribera del Duero. Destemmed, fermented with wild yeasts in small stainless steel vat, and raised for 12 months in used French oak. 287 bottles produced.
Alfredo Maestro La Cosa 2011 Eiswein made from Tempranillo grapes that were harvested on December 31st.
After a great 9 years run with our friends at David Bowler Wines, we are very excited to announce today our new partnership in the New York/New Jersey market with the indelible MFW Wine Co.
Starting June 1st the team at MFW Wine Co
will represent our Portfolio.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Thanks much for all your continuous support.
The JPS team
Mike Foulk and Mike Wheeler
For those of you who want to know more about MFW Wine Co, below are a few words about them.
“MFW (Michael Foulk and Wheeler) Wine Co. is the partnership of two people that have a combined 30+ years experience working in the New York and New Jersey wine scenes. We feel that the two most important elements in this business are the growers and the customers, without them, we have no business. Our goal is simple: to build something that we honestly believe in, that serves the needs of our customers, the growers, and our futures. We’re not trying to be the next “big” distributor or to follow the next “fad”, we’re just two guys that enjoy real wine and want to work with the people and the wines that we care about.” – MFW
“A real Hustler and a true friend of his friends. Mike Foulk has what it takes…”– Jules Chauvet
"Mike Wheeler makes his customers, colleagues and suppliers remember what is joyful about wine. Why wine and food can be such a grand and deep pleasure for all of us. Mike Wheeler has mastered the fine art of communicating his enthusiasm and making it contagious. The man is a walking, talking, irresistible explosion of generosity and joie de vivre." - Joseph Dressner
"Mr. Wheeler is not the most powerful person in the wine trade. But he is what every one of us in the trade wishes they could be..." - The Wine Importer
The Man, The Myth and The Legends...
New arrivals at our desk.
If you are part of the family you know where to find us.
Looking forward to seeing you all.
The JPS team.
Mencía In Depth: New Releases From Guímaroby Ariana Rolich
Mencía first gained respect as a gateway to Spanish wine for lovers of young, juicy, high-acid reds. This offering highlights the deeper, more sumptuous side of Mencía, exemplified by the stunning single vineyard bottlings from Guímaro. The Amandi subzone of Galicia's Ribeira Sacra is home to precipitous, south-facing slate slopes, where Pedro Rodriguez and his parents farm 8 hectares organically. Prior to the formation of the Ribeira Sacra D.O. in 1997, Rodriguez's family sold most their wine for consumption at local cantinas. The emergence of the appellation spurred Guímaro ("rebel" in the local Gallego dialect) to eliminate chemical treatments and attend to the nuances of their terroir, resulting in bold, balanced grapes and increasingly spirited wines of place.
Low yields and back-wrenching vineyard work mean every bunch of fruit is precious and every wine expressive of its soil, age, and aspect. Mencía displays range reminiscent of Gamay to some palates and Cabernet Franc to others; some wines reveal aromas and earth that harken to Syrah. Such comparisons are helpful introductions, but fail to illustrate the unique character within and interplay between these wines. The proliferation of serious interest in artisanal Spanish wines allows us to extend the exploration of single-parcel expressions from our favorite growers in Beaujolais, the Loire, and the Rhone to regions like Galicia, Manchuela, the Duero, and beyond. Aside from the immediate pleasure of drinking incredibly flavorful and well-made wines, there is nothing more rewarding than the chance to peek at a carefully tended patchwork of vines through the tastes and textures in our glass.
Guímaro's whites are based on Godello, another Galician variety capable of deep and myriad expression. Fleshy and supple, chiseled and sleek, silken and earthy -- all of these combinations are possible. It is a great joy to engage with the range of Godellos that have become available to us and Guímaro's are no exception. The new vintage of the textured, spicy, skin-contacted GBG has arrived alongside a limited new cuvee, the airy, delicate, and herbal 2011 Joven Blanco.-AR
(To purchase the wines click here
or on each individual wine below.)Guimaro 2011 Ribeira Sacra Joven Blanco
Invigorating and zesty 100% Godello from 50-70 year-old vines, raised in stainless steel tank with six months on the lees. The nose foreshadows the marked minerality of this wine, alongside sea salt, white tea leaves, lime blossom and crisp peach flesh. Fresh and fascinating flavors of gooseberry, rosy peach skins, lemon drops, aloe, thyme, subtle pine, and a lasting hint of bitter almond on the finish. Only 100 cases of this wine were produced and we are pleased to have the entire East Coast allocation. Utterly unique at its price point and a welcome harbinger of spring. Stock up! -ARGuimaro 2011 Ribeira Sacra GBG Godello
GBG is 85% Godello, 10% Treixadura and 5% Dona Blanca with two days on the skins and a year on its lees. Warm cloven spice, musky baked apples, dried hay, and a touch of burnt rubber on the nose, with a broad gilded palate of earthy yellow apple, ripe white peaches, marigold flowers, spicy wheat beer, and savory mustard seeds. This is a grand and textured wine with ample acidity to balance the richness and spice. A beautiful wine on a chilly night to pair with richer seafood, smoked fish, tangy aged cheddars, classic herb pesto, and roasted chicken or game birds. -ARGuimaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra Finca Capelinos
100% Mencía from a 0.6 hectare, southwest facing, slate and granite plot of 95-year-old vines; foot-trodden and fermented with native yeasts and 40% whole clusters, A dreamy nose of strawberry ice cream, orange custard, black peppercorns, rosewater, and licorice on the nose with a deep, dry palate of dark ripe raspberry, lime curd, earthy green nettles, fresh figs, anise seed, and a puff of steely gunpowder, with terse young tannins and a long, salty mineral coat on the finish. Capeliños gushes from the bottle with charm and complexity on full display and is a gracious introduction to serious Mencia. Pair with sausages, braised meats, salty and spicy things. -ARGuimaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra Finca Meixeman
Finca Meixemán comes from 1.2 hectares of 70-year-old southeast facing vines on schist-heavy soils and is vinified just like Capelinos. Sultry and spicy with blackberry briar, dill fronds, coriander, celery seed, cumin, and soil on the nose. The palate is long, deep and clear with soft dark cherry, raspberry juice and seeds, rosey red plums, hibiscus tea and watermelon rind is anchored by intense acidity and young tannic scratch. Meixemán is powerful without being decadent or dense, recommended for lovers of young Brouilly. Open well in advance or decant. -ARGuimaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra Finca Pombeiras
Pombeiras is Guímaro's only 100% whole cluster cuvee, from 0.45 hectare plot on a southeast facing slate and granite slope. Pombeiras takes a little extra time to open but compensates the patient drinker with graceful fruit, herbal length, floral depth and a delicate creaminess that recurs from nose to finish. Birch bark, milky coffee, soft leather and green tobacco swirl through the nose; the palate is shifting layers of mulberries, kirsch, blood orange, spicy Darjeeling, pencil lead, violet and rose petals, and a salted caramel finish. Subtly glamourous and the herbal counterpoint to Meixeman's spice, Pombeiras is a Mencía to cellar and revisit. For immediate consumption, please open well in advance. -AR
Suertes del Marqués, Vidonia 2011 Valle de la Orotava
29 Mar 2013 by JR
90% century-old Listan Blanco (Palomino Fino) grown on volcanic slopes in the north of the island and fermented in 500-litre used French casks, kept on the lees for 11 months and otherwise pretty much left alone. I would venture to suggest the great draws of this wine are the soils and the age of the vines rather than the variety. There is not that much nose (apart from an unexpected hint of something lightly oaky) but there is masses of substance and fresh, tangy personality, building on the finish. This has the same sort of uncompromising acidity, weight and dryness as a fine, slightly austere white burgundy. Interesting that the acidity is so high when this is not exactly a characteristic of Palomino Fino's most famous wine, sherry. Well done for finding it, Indigo in the UK and Jose Pastor in Richmond, CA. It opened out very convincingly in the glass. Quite a find!
Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes 2011 Valle de la Orotava
29 Mar 2013 by JR
Century-old and younger, ungrafted vines of which 90% are Listan Negro, the red wine grape indigenous to the Canary Islands, and 10% Tintilla. Most was aged for a year in concrete tanks with 10% aged for the same period in 500-litre French oak. Pale red. Fruity, peppery fruit and quite light with some of the island's volcanic soils showing through. Very appealing, round and early-maturing. Transparent fruit and a satisfying finish. A grainy quality - or am I thinking of the famous black sands of Tenerife? Long.