Casa Agricola Pepe Mendoza Alicante 2017
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Pepe Mendoza is one of the most respected winemakers in Spain. For years he was the winemaker at Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, his family’s winery in Alicante. Before that, he studied viticulture and enology and traveled the world, working and continuing his education. Now, at Casa Agricola, he and his wife Pepa Agulló Llorca are dedicated to producing small production, artisanal wines that reflect the soil, climate and traditions of Alicante.
The combination of Mediterranean and local low-yield varieties grown using traditional sustainable methods (Casa Agricola practices but is not certified organic) and the family's commitment to producing fresh, delicious wines from high-quality grapes yields tasty results with no overripe or sun roasted flavors. The vineyards have predominantly dry-farmed bush-trained vines (gobelet) with a vine age of between 40-77 years. The winery has vineyards in both Marina Alto, with its lower elevation and sea influences where they produce Moscatel of Alexandria and Giró and the highlands of Alto Vinalopó where the vineyards are planted to Monastrell, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah, Airén and Macabeo. The different grape varieties are harvested and vinified separately using indigenous yeasts. They are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats. Aging takes place in stainless-steel vats, amphora or 500-liter French oak barrels. This process lends individual personality to each wine with the aim of producing distinctive expressions of their particular terroir.
This 2017 red blend is made from Monastrell (approximately 75%) trained in traditional gobelets on drylands with the remaining being equal parts Syrah and Garnacha Tintorera aka Alicante Bouschet trained on trellises with small amounts of irrigation to curb the heat during the summer. The three grape types are harvested separately at optimum ripeness and fermented in small stainless steel tanks using only indigenous yeasts. They are vinified at low temperatures with whole clusters and a small percentage (20%) of stems. After fermentation, the wine ages six months with 20% taking place in 500-liter French oak barrels. Careful practices in both the vineyard and winery have produced a wine that is at the same time concentrated and fresh with woodland notes of pine and rosemary accenting plums and blackberries.