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Casa Agrícola Tinto
Casa Agrícola Tinto
Freshness and complexity - the essence of the Mediterranean.
- Producer: Pepe Mendoza Casa Agrícola
- Region: DO Alicante
- Vintage: 2021
- ABV: 14 %
- Grape: Monastrell, Giró, Alicante Bouschet
Aromas of Mediterranean herbs like pine, rosemary, thyme and rockrose with a touch of orange peel. A very fresh palate with magnificent balance and a long appetising finish.
Game, Rice dishes, Red meat, Cheese, Cold meats
More about Casa Agrícola Tinto
Who makes it
Pepe Mendoza Casa Agrícola is a family winery run by Pepe Mendoza – son of Enrique Mendoza who has been making wine in the Alicante region since the 1970s – with the help of his wife Pepa, their three children, and dachshunds Lola and Syrah. Based in the village of Llíber, sustainability, respect and tradition are at the heart of Pepe’s approach and he is passionate about local grape varieties and winemaking techniques that have been handed for generations ever since the time of the Romans.
In Pepe’s words, the project is all about ¨two terroirs, one landscape¨, and the vineyards are split between two main areas: the low-lying, more coastal county (comarca in Spanish) of Marina Alta behind the tourist towns of Dénia and Javea, and the higher area of Alto Vinalopó which is about 100km further inland. The 12-hectare Abargues estate surrounds the bodega in Llíber and is planted with historic Mediterranean varieties like Muscat of Alexandria, Giró, Monastrell or Alicante Bouschet, as well as Macabeo or Airén.
Monastrell, or Mouvèdre as you’ll see it referred to France and much of the rest of the world, is a popular grape in Spain, especially in the south-east of the country. It’s what’s known as a hot climate variety, which means it buds and ripens very late, and it adapts well to different soil types.
Monastrell is a bit of an all-rounder. You might already have tasted it without realizing it because, like Garnacha, it’s one of the components in the famous GSM blend of Garnacha, Syrah, Mouvèdre found in the southern Rhone in France or Australia. It tends to give quite intense, full-bodied wines with lots of rich, dark fruit. Tannins are usually quite firm, so winemakers sometimes use it to add backbone and some savoury notes to their wines.
Giró is synonymous with, or a very old clone of Garnacha and it’s the name given to the grape in the Levante region, especially Alicante where you can find increasingly being used by more artisanal producers. Many experts think the grape travelled down from Catalunya in the thirteenth century after the expulsion of the Moors, and began to be planted in the Levante region and the Balearic Islands. For winegrowers in the Marina Alta comarca (county) of Alicante, the fine-skinned Giró is appreciated for its good natural acidity (an important asset in hotter climates) and its blend of fresh red fruit aromas and more earthy notes.
Alicante Bouschet is a red grape with red flesh, one of what the French call ¨dyer¨ varieties because they add a deep colour to red wine. In Spanish you’ll find it referred to as Garnacha Tintorera, Tintorera being the Spanish word for ¨dyer¨. It’s a late budding, medium ripening variety which makes it ideal for Mediterranean and Mediterranean/Continental climates like Spain. Wines made from Alicante Bouschet tend to be full bodied and very dense, almost opaque in colour. Flavour varies depending on how ripe the grapes are, but in general when people talk about Alicante Bouschet they associate it with ripe fruit flavours, or sometimes very ripe, or quite jammy flavours. Some talk about a slight smoky tinge to the wines.
Where it's made
Pepe Mendoza Casa Agrícola Tinto is a blend of two important terroirs in Alicante: the Marina Alta region just behind the coastal resorts of Dénia and Javea where the Giró grapes are planted in ferric clay soil, and the higher vineyards of Alto Vinalopó about 100km inland where the Monastrell and Alicante Bouschet grapes are planted in sandy loam. The majority of the vines are traditional bush vines with the Alicante Bouschet on a low trellis, and were planted between 57 and 75 years ago. All the vineyards are dry-farmed (ie no irrigation) and follow (uncertified) organic practices.
How it's made
The grapes are manually harvested in small 10kg boxes in September when the balance of sugar, acidity and ph is optimal. Vinification is relatively simple and is inspired by the philosophy that less is more. Each grape variety is harvested separately and undergoes a light press before fermentation in separate stainless steel tanks with a small percentage (10%) of stems kept in the must for freshness. The musts ferment freely with their own yeasts, and maceration is very gentle so as not to harden the wines. Once fermentation is complete the wines age for 12 months in stainless steel tanks, then undergo a light paper filtration before bottling. No clarification or cold treatment.