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MAY 2021/ THE NOMAD

WINE 1


Producer: Jose Antonio Garcia
Title: Villacalbiel
Grape:  Prieto Picudo
Location: Spain, Castilla y Leon
 
The Place 
There’s an old vineyard on stony soils at 800 meters altitude in the village of Villacalbiel in Leon, a designated wine region of origin in north western Spain. Leon is a part of the Central Plateau of Spain. The land of Leon overall is very poor, mainly supporting nomadic flocks of sheep. However, there is the Duero River that cuts a broad valley providing a natural water source. Most of the soil in the vineyard area is alluvial, being fine grained mud, silt, sand and gravel.
Viticultural records for this region go back to the 10th century, but winemaking has been happening here since the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Additionally, Leon has benefitted throughout history from being at the center of a crossroads of two important cultural routes. The first is known as The Way of Saint James: this is a pilgrimage route running east to west from France to Santiago de Compostela. The second route is called The Ruta de la Plata: running north to south between the silver mines of the Cantabrian coast and the southern port of Cadiz.
 
The Wine 
Prieto Picudo is a very rare, juicy, spicy red grape that the winemaker Jose Antonio Garcia has helped to rescue from obscurity. All the grapes used to make this bottle are from 90+ year old vines that are grown organically. The hand-harvested grapes are foot-crushed and then fermented, whole-cluster, in open-top 500 litre oak barrels, where the wine matures for 12 months. Whole-cluster fermentation is done to add a greater complexity of aromatics, balance acid, and impact tannin structure. When tasting, this perfumed specialty of Leon can have notes of forest fruit and black pepper on the nose. Jose Antonio Garcia is joined by his wife Julia Pena Garcia in the operations and production of this wine and all the wines of Jose Antonio Garcia. Together they share a hands-off approach in the vineyard and the winery, doing as little intervention as possible in order to let the wines show themselves. That said, any work that is being done is done by them. 
In February of 2018, only 1200 bottles were filled. Of that already tiny amount of wine, only 10 cases (120 bottles) made it to the United States. We feel quite fortunate to be able to offer this bottle to you. 

WINE 2

Producer: Francois Cazin
Title: Cheverny Blanc
Grape:  Sauvignon Blanc/ Chardonnay
Location: France, Loire Valley
 
The Place 
The Loire Valley wine region of France is named after the river that it follows (all 625 miles of it). Such a large region has a diverse array of producers, with many wines and styles being created within it, making it hard to characterize. This, however, is exactly what makes the region so special. Overall the climate is quite cool, but the river adds the necessary few degrees to make grape growing possible. 
Created in 1993, Cheverny is one of the most recent appellations in the Loire Valley. The area, south of the Loire and abutting the marshy region of Sologne, has produced wines since the 6th century. The soils consist of various combinations of clay, limestone and silica. Many varietals are planted: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet and Côt for red wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin and Romorantin for the whites.
 
The Wine 
By legislation, for a wine to be labeled as Cheverny, it must be a blend of varietals. This wine by Francois Cazin is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay, all sustainably farmed and harvested by hand. Aged in a mix of stainless steel and neutral oak for one year, the wine goes through malolactic fermentation which can lead to a slightly softer tasting wine. It is then bottled by gravity only with no filtration.  This wine is rustic yet focused. Expect great complexity, floral and citrus notes, and a lingering finish that will make you pause, reminding you to be here now.
Winemaker Francois Cazin is a fifth generation winemaker who took over at their family estate Le Petit Chambord in 1974, where he continues to make wine to this day. The estate is a 49 acre farm, bordered to the east by the Cheverny Forest. Francois tends many old vines and keeps his yields low, developing only the best fruit of the vineyard.  Francois has a very hands-off approach, with almost no chemical intervention, using all natural yeasts and patience in his wine aging process. His wines have been imported to the US for over 30 years.

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