Producer: Bodegas Mustiguillo
Title: Finca Calvestra Mersguera 2018
Location: Spain, Utiel-Requena, El Terrerazo
The vineyards in the east of Spain, just inland from the
Mediterranean coast, initially established themselves as providers of strong bulk wine that was quite forgettable. However, greater education and investment in this area, along with a commitment to indigenous varietals, have allowed for producers to develop wines of distinction. The Finca Calvestra vineyard in the area known as Utiel-Requena, in the province of Valencia, is a tiny plot at 900
meters altitude, with 100+ year old vines comingled with ancient olive trees. The Merseguera grape varietal, which favors the slow ripening conditions at high altitude, is one of very few plots and the only single vineyard of this almost extinct variety anywhere in the world. The Mustiguillo estate is comprised of 89 hectares of contiguous vineyards on primarily limestone soils. The climate is Mediterranean with a strong continental influence: drastic diurnal shifts in temperature and contrasting winds from the sea to the east and hot plateau of La Mancha region to the west. Archaeological evidence shows wine production happening here as far back as 7th Century BCE.
Aged 12 months in French oak and Acacia wood barrels, this wine is creamy, elegant and fresh with citrus, white peach, and green tea aromas. Voluminous, juicy fruit flavors of pear and zest come through on the sip, and it lingers long on the palate. The finish is full of mineral freshness that is complex, deep, lasting and satisfying. Winemaker Toni Sarrion has created a truly rare wine from a once neglected region and nearly forgotten varietal. You could certainly have this wine with Paella, as well as many fish dishes, smoked food, and mature cheeses like aged gouda, cheddar, or manchego.
Title: Refosk 2018
Location: Croatia, Istria
The Istrian Peninsula is a unique place that has a history of
belonging to many different countries and occupiers including the Romans, Goths, Franks and Bavarians. The Republic of Venice even had a run of 500+ years as occupiers. It was also part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of World War One. Today, Croatia occupies about 85% of the total Istrian peninsula and it is here that we will direct our focus. The name “Piquentum” is the ancient Roman word for the beautiful hilltop town of Buzet in Croatia where Piquentum wines are made. This is where Dimitri Brecevic’s father lived and where Dimitri currently tends vines and makes wine. Istria is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic. Croatia’s westernmost region, it borders both Italy and Slovenia. With only about 1750 square miles, over 280 miles are coastline with 35% covered with oak and pine forests. The mediterranean climate is perfect for grape growing, and there are many varietals native to Croatia that have been grown here since well before the Romans, the Refosk grape being one of them.
The wine is made in a giant abandoned water cistern that was built during the 1930s under Mussolini. This is an amazing place to make wine as the temperature remains a steady 10-11 degrees Celcius, year round. This temperature is a little too cold for fermentation to begin so a fan is used to draw in some outside air to warm the space up a couple degrees. This 100% Refosk undergoes a 2-4 week maceration on the skins. The wine then ages for 14-18 months in wooden barriques. A great pairing with charcuterie, roast pork, a rich
minestrone soup, or a hearty lasagna.