100% Mencia, hand-picked from the hills of Priaranza del Bierzo in Castilla y León, Spain. The grapes come from three different parcels of 70-90 year old vines, grown on slate and clay soil. After the grapes are partially destemmed, they spend 7-8 on the skins in oak barrels. After primary and malolactic fermentation is complete using native yeasts, the wine is aged in chestnut barrels for 8 months. Unfined, unfiltered, with just a touch of sulphur added at bottling. Tongue-tingling acidity, chalky and mushroomy earthiness, and ripe cherry.
Tattooed along his knuckles - one letter for each finger - Diego Losada makes clear the essence of his work: P U R E W I N E. A former student of organic chemistry at university, the Castilla y Léon native found himself increasingly, and ultimately, drawn to the intuitive and spiritual streak of natural winemaking. Since 2013, he has green-harvested five hectares of hearty (often, abandoned) bush vines not far from his birthplace - the city of Ponferrada - to spectacular effect in the Bierzo DO. Two distinct topographical areas define this northwestern Spanish appellation: Alto Bierzo and Bierzo Bajo. It is in the latter - the flattest and lowest land in this mountainous region, a nearly miraculous plateau known as the Hoya Bierciana - where Diego works on clay-iron and slate soils amongst rich vegetation: horsebane, nettles, and the like. Vines here range in age from 60-90 years. His wines are slow, complex, delights that are by turns surprising and elegant in both range and depth. Purely indigenous grape varieties like Mencía, Doña Blanca, Palomino, and Godello adorn the vines. Unfined, unfiltered, no additional SO2, and working with “breathable” fermentation and aging vessels such as unlined concrete vats in addition to old oak and chestnut casks and foudres, these are wines that redefine what is possible in the Bierzo.