A serious, barrel-aged red laden with blackberries and blueberries
Made from old vine Mencía grown at 600-700 metres above sea level, Hombros is a wine that bursting with freshness and structure. It has a wonderful nose of wild blackberries and blueberries interwoven with subtle notes of summer flowers. It delivers an excellent balance between mature tannins, lively acidity, and deep fruit flavours, and delivers an harmonious, long finish.
Cured Meats, Pork, Lamb, Stews & Sauces, Pasta Dishes, Cheese
More about Hombros
Who makes it
Casar de Burbia is a family-run winery in the heart of Bierzo in northwest Spain. When Nemesio Fernández began to buy vineyard plots planted with old vines at the end of the 1980s, he was going against the tide. At the time, growers were gradually abandoning the uplands around the village of Valtuille de Arriba in favour of higher-yielding plots lower down on the valley floor.
Looking back now, Nemesio's son Isidro praises his father's vision for securing these harder to cultivate, less fertile plots and saving the historic, high altitude Mencía vines, many of which were planted as long ago as 1900. Today, Casar de Burbia covers some 27 hectares split across no less than 52 individual plots.
Terroir is to the fore at Casar de Burbia – altitude, orientation, and the stony, ruddy soil all help add complexity and character to Isidro’s wines. Respect for the land and winemaking traditions is a key part of his philosophy and the tight focus on sustainable viticulture means all wines are certified organic.
About the grapes
Hombros is made from old vine Mencía grapes planted between 50 and 100 years ago in a series of mid-altitude plots (600 – 700 metres above sea level) above the village of Valtuille de Arriba.
Mencía is perfectly suited to the slate soils which you can find in abundance in northwest Spain. It can give a range of different wine styles, but in general, people tend to describe Mencía wines as fresh and perfumed, quite ethereal in nature, with very appealing fruit that works well with very subtle oak or no oak at all. Some like to call it Spain’s Pinot Noir, while others compare it to the Cabernet Franc grown in the Loire.
Where it's made
Bierzo is located in northwest Castilla y León. Sitting in a valley surrounded by mountains, it enjoys a climate halfway between the Atlantic north and the warmer, drier Spanish interior. It gets a good amount of rain and a broad range of temperatures and orientations between the vineyards on the valley floor and the higher altitude plots.
Down on the valley floor, the soil is wetter and has more clay content which tends to produce more generous wines with a bigger mouth feel. Higher up, the soil is better drained and has more stone and slate content which gives more refined wines with more mineral characteristics.
All in all, winemakers in Bierzo have an excellent variety of terruño to work with to produce wines with real character that reflect the very specific environments in which their grapes grow. So it’s not surprising that the region has attracted big names of Spanish wine like Raúl Pérez and the Palacios family, as well as our very own Casar de Burbia.
How it's made
Following a manual harvest, the grapes undergo a pre-fermentative maceration before being fermented with native yeasts. The wine is then left in contact with its lees for up to two months before a delicately controlled barrel ageing to ensure perfect harmony between wine and wood.