A fun thruline from the past two months of wine share: there has been fruit from ‘El Mago de Los Verdejos’ (The Wizard of Verdejo) Ismael Gozalo in each. Last month, the Alsatian project ‘Sons of Wine’ had a pét-nat crafted from Verdejo fruit purchased from Ismael; this month we have the slightly more rarely seen estate rosado from Ismael’s MicroBio project. Crafted from Tempranillo vines farmed outside of the city of Segovia in Northwest Spain’s Castilla y Léon region, the wine is an outlier in Ismael’s range/reputation, having for two decades now cultivated some of the greatest white wines in Spain, and absolutely some of the best Verdejo in the world. He works primarily with super old-vine (ungrafted, un-treated, pre-phylloxera (200+ year-old)) Verdejo planted in the typically sandy soils (the sand enabled these vines to avoid phylloxera as the infamous louse cannot stomach sand) of the area slightly northwest of Segovia known as ‘Rueda.’ In this micro-region, Ismael operates out of his hometown of Nieva (tr.: snow(s)) where he has a labyrinthine cellar replete with amphorae, glass demijohn, barrel, tank etc. Wines bubbling with future-past! Maybe more than anything else, the wines of MicroBio always bear a clear point of view, a kind of bristling contradiction: they are eager to show their precision. Eager/precise: nearly as rare as the magic touch of El Mago.
Vinification & Tasting: 100% Tempranillo hand-harvested from old vines grown in phyllite/loam soils. The grapes are destemmed and fermented in stainless steel with a touch of verdejo must. Once racked, the wine undergoes a short élevage before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no additional SO2. Structured wintry rosé to drink on its own or with a Sunday roast. Sidenote: Once popped, shelf life varies. Consider drinking within a few hours. 🐭