Minerals, herbs and white fruit from vines planted more than 70 years ago
- Producer: Bodegas Verum
- DO: VT Castilla
- Vintage: 2020
- ABV: 12%
- Grape: Airén de Pie Franco
- Certified Organic
One of the winery’s best-known wines internationally, Las Tinadas is a fresh, balanced white wine made from the popular Airén grape. It has a marked mineral profile with touches of Mediterranean herb and white fruit which reflect the Verum estate’s limestone soils. Rounded in the mouth it works well with a range of different dishes or on its own.
White Fish, Blue Fish, Shellfish, Salads, White Meats
More about Las Tinadas
WHO MAKES IT
The López Montero family have been a key part of the winemaking tradition in the town of Tomelloso in La Mancha since the late 18th century. The family farm around 250 hectares in total, but in 2005 they launched the Verum project with a clear focus on 80 hectares of the finest vineyard sites and plots on the property.
Verum means "truthful" or "real" in Latin, and it is this search for authenticity in all aspects of the winemaking process that really sets the winery apart.
Key to the winery’s success is son and winemaker Elias López Montero whose philosophy is to work ecologically, respecting natural cycles and the character of the land to showcase the full potential of the different grape varieties. That clarity of focus has brought praise and plaudits from a host of international wine critics like Jancis Robinson or the Wine Advocate in the US.
Las Tinadas is made from ungrafted - pie franco - Airén. The term ungrafted means that the vine is a single plant, rather than a European vine grafted onto a phylloxera-resistant American rootstock which was an innovation introduced to combat the disease which so ravaged European vineyards from the late 19th century.
At 200,000 hectares, Airén is Spain’s second most widely planted white grape just behind Tempranillo at 203,000 hectares. Airén is a pretty drought resistant variety and is most commonly found in wines from the Madrid region and Castilla La Mancha where historically it was often used for distilling, particularly brandy.
Where used for making still wines, Airén tends to give a rather neutral flavour profile, and it was traditionally used as a blending grape. But these days, it's enjoying a bit of a revival. Skilled winemakers like Elías López Montero from Bodegas Verum, argue that Airén’s very neutrality means it’s adaptable and well-suited to take on the more mineral characteristics of the limestone soil in which it’s grown.
WHERE IT'S MADE
La Mancha is not just Spain’s largest DO; its 155,000 hectares of vines make it the largest wine producing region in the world. With a winemaking history going back to the Romans, today the region’s 15,000 registered wine growers and 250 wineries, or bodegas, ensure that the wine sector is one of the key motors of the local economy. While still wines make up the biggest chunk of the region’s output, distillation is important too, and the region is a key supplier of spirit for the famous Brandy de Jerez.
Derived from the Moorish term Manxa meaning ¨parched earth¨, La Mancha is large, flat and relatively high, with most vineyards between 600 and 800 metres above sea level. Starting on the southern fringes of Madrid, it stretches south about 200km down towards Valdepeñas, and about the same again from east to west. Climate is mainly dry and continental with long, hot summers and bitterly cold winters with frequent frosts. The white grape Airén and red Cencibel remain the most popular grapes, although you’ll increasingly see other Spanish grapes like Graciano or Verdejo, and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
HOW IT'S MADE
Following a careful selection of the best fruit in the vineyard and a manual harvest, the grapes are fermented at 16ºC for 10 days. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is aged for 4 months in traditional clay tinajas, or amphorae, and then for a further four months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.