In Bierzo, in northwestern Spain, the husband-and-wife team of Jose Antonio García and Julia Reña García have built their foundation from the ground up, literally with their own hands, and in doing so have created a source of renewal and rebirth for Bierzo. Moving away from internationally inspired styles, the Garcias have gotten back to the basics and are practicing organic farming. They both have familial roots in the area, and in winemaking and vineyard management, and they are experts of Bierzo. Their first vintage was in 2011, and they have taken on renovating historic vineyard sites. They’ve acquired 22 hectares of land so far, with a focus on preserving older vines native to the area, some up to 200 years old.
Today’s offering is the “Unculín” tinto, made entirely from the Mencía grape. The wine offers lovely aromas of red and purple flowers, plums, and a hint of pepper. The palate follows the nose with an abundance of dark fruits and savory herbs. Light-to-medium-bodied, with balanced acidity and tannins, this is delicious on its own but would pair well with almost anything, especially a plate of jamón or braised leg of lamb. Give this wine twenty or thirty minutes of air after opening and you’ll fall in love with it.
José António García
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