Varieties: 80% Mencía, 10% Palomino, 10% Doña Blanca
Diego Losada is a Bierzo native who, after working at a couple bigger wineries, struck out on his own with his project La Senda (meaning “the path” or “the way”) in 2013. He works organically with just over 5 hectares of 60+ year old vineyards at elevations of over 600 feet, about 15 parcels in total. He looks for bush vine vineyards that are not easily accessible by road and planted on either clay-calcareous or slate soils since they are less likely to be exposed to chemical treatments. He aggressively green harvests to attain yields of 1.5 kg/vine. In the winery, Diego works with a mix of unlined concrete vats and older oak & chestnut casks and foudre with no pumps, battonage or SO2 additions, producing some of the most revolutionary Bierzo wines that we have encountered.
The Bierzo appellation is at the northwest corner of Castilla y León, bordering Galicia. The rolling hills are full of abandoned gold, iron and magnesium mines from the centuries past. Diego feels that these trace minerals in the soils of the vineyards give the wines added personality, and the surrounding orchards and underlying grasses, nettles and horsebane provide the natural balance he seeks.
La Senda vindemiatrix is the gateway into the fascinating world of Diego Losada. It is sourced from 7 old-vine parcels in the hills surrounding the village of Hervededo. Most of the parcels are red and white grapes inter-planted, so Diego co-ferments the different native grape varieties, as was done in the past. The soils are mainly clay-calcareous, and the elevation is around 550 meters. The grapes are partially destemmed, macerated for a few weeks, and fermented and raised in unlined concrete tanks. The finished wine is bottled without fining or filtration, and only minimally-added SO2. This is pure Bierzo, refreshing and engaging, powerful and crystalline, with an amazing red fruit intensity and woven flavors of earth, smoke, and spice. Pair this lively red with grilled meats or served chilled by the pool on a hot summer day