Montepilas – Bodegas Marenas (2015)
Winemaker: José Miguel Márquez
Age of Vines: 20 yrs
Grape Variety(s): Montepila
Style: Dry White
Region: Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain
José Miguel Márquez is on a mission to recover the old winemaking traditions of his native town Montilla inCordoba. As an aficionado of everything natural, genuine, and authentic, he makes sure his vineyards and wines are treated with the same care and respect they deserve. Nothing but fermented juices extracted from the different varieties of grapes, without filtrations or additives of any type. This results in natural wines expressive of their land and climate.
As with most winemakers, his life revolves around each harvest but it’s the passion and dedication he lives them with that set José Miguel apart. It’s as if his wines were his children and each one of their personalities a product of that vintage. He’s actually named wines from certain vintages after his daughters or nephews. It’s no surprise that when he sold his first bottle of wine, he felt like he was shipping one of his kids off to boarding school. Although one of the youngest producers in the region, he is making some of the most exciting wines in the region and recovering other indigenous varieties like Montepila amongst many other projects that are in the works. We are simply bonkers over this wine. We had never had Montepila before (or heard of it) and this is just the hit of the spring for us. 3,000 bottles produced, aged and stainless steel the whole time. One of the purest wines we’ve ever had.
Laguzelle – Domaine Benjamin Taillandier (2016)
Winemaker: Benjamin Taillandier
Soil: Clay and Limestone
Age of Vines: Age of Vines: 3015-20 yrs yrs
Grape Variety(s): Grenache/Cinsault/Carignan
Style: Dry Red
Region: Minervois, Languedoc, France
After finishing winemaking school, Benjamin spent some time working in a conventional winery. In 2004, however, he met natural winemaker Jean-Baptiste Senat and began working with him in his cellar. He was influenced by Senat’s ideas and techniques. After his stage ended, he knew that he wanted to make his wine with a similar philosophy one day.
In 2007 he settled in his family’s hometown of Caunes-Minnervois, which sits between the ancient city of Carcassone and The Montagne Noir. He purchased 5.7ha of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cinsault, Terret Gris and began working it organically, eventually converting all of it over to biodynamics. Each year he added a plot to his estate and now he works 9.5 ha all by hand and now fully Ecocert certified. He also runs a terrific wine bar downtown called Cantine du Curé which is open during the summer tourist season.
Benjamin feels that many of the wines in the Minnervois AOC are too concentrated and alcoholic, and works hard to make wines that, while full flavored, are lighter, fresher and lower in alcohol than most average wines from the Languedoc. Indeed, there is a level of liveliness in this wines that you seldom see in the wines of the region, Benjamin is happily introducing people to the concept of Minervois "vin de soif.”
If this story sounds familiar for some of you...you’re right! We introduced you to another of his wines, “Vini Viti Bibi” back in March. Luguzelle is somewhat similar but a hair bit lighter and more fresh fresh fresh! Try chilling it down just a tad and enjoy with a nice dinner outside.