In Spain’s wine community, Florentino Martínez Monje of Bodegas Luberri is somewhat of a legend. His big personality and fun nature can sometimes overshadow what a great agronomist he is. Luberri is located in Elciego, directly in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, the Basque part of the region. Florentino farms old vines located principally between the villages of Elciego and Laguardia.
A farmer at heart, Florentino was the original winemaker at Artadi before establishing his own winery in 1992. He made a name for himself and his estate by resurrecting the ancient, traditional style of semicarbonic maceration of Rioja wine of Rioja. This style of fermentation dates back more than two hundred years in the region, before the changes that came with the arrival of phylloxera and the importation of French winemaking techniques. Florentino is very hands-on at the winery, participating on all aspects of production, but his true love is working in the vineyards. All the plots are farmed with minimal treatment of the soils and vines. Individual vineyard sites are fermented and vinified seperately. By keeping yields low (around 34 to 45 hl/ha) Florentino extracts grapes with great concentration and flavor.
Florentino Monje’s goal with “Seis” is to create a wine from Tempranillo that expresses the truth and gastronomy of his native Basque region, a wine that makes people happy. “Seis” is a simple wine that is not simple at all. To vinify this “semi-crianza” wine, the grape clusters are put into stainless steel tanks whole, without crushing or destemming, with the beginning of fermentation being intracellular. The grapes are then pressed, and the skins are macerated while alcoholic fermentation finishes. The wine is then racked in American oak barrels, where it ages for six months before bottling.
You can expect this wine to show bright, fresh fruit, with spice, hints of vanilla, and red licorice. The palate is fresh and soft, rounded out by grippy tannins that hit midpalate and create a brilliant finish.
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