QDM Crianza Oxidativa
Quinta da Muradella is a single vintage wine, meaning it has only been made once. This experimental wine baptized as Crianza Oxidativa, “oxidative ageing” is a brilliant expression of what Jose Luis Mateo can do. In the words of Jose Luis: “I wanted to eliminate all the fruit in the wine, so I gave lots of air to the must to get it oxidized, filled the tank at three-quarters of its capacity, where it developed a layer of yeast and also left some air in the barrels so the wine continued with this thin layer of yeast, like the flor in Sherry for a few months. I liked the result, and I'll continue doing it whenever possible.” This limited production wine (250 6pks) made only in 2009 was produced from 100% Dona Blanca grapes belonging to 2 different vineyards that were planted in the lower valley of Monterrei 40 and 70 years ago. The soil here is sand from decomposed slate. The vinification of this wine is fairly simple. After fermenting for 3 months in stainless steel tanks the wine went into barrel for 9 months. During these 9 months the barrels were only 75%-80% full leaving enough oxygen for the floating yeast in the environment to grow and propagate on the inside of the barrel to such an extent that the wine is not anymore exposed to oxygen but protected by a film of yeast/flor that protect the wine from oxidizing while transforming it to a wine that will eventually have less alcohol, less glycerin and less volatile acidity.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Aged under flor for 9 months. A Single vintage wine from Monterrei. Produce from vineyards that are 40 and 70 years old. Limited production. only 250 6pks for the world.
RATING HISTORY: 2009 93WA
GRAPE: 100% Doña Blanca.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Seafood in general, especially: raw fish such as sashimi or tartars, mussels, oysters, smoked salmon, smoked mussels, and smoked dried beef
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: After fermenting for 3 months in stainless steel tanks the wine went into barrel for 9 months. During these 9 months the barrels were only 80% full leaving enough oxygen for the floating yeast in the environment to grow and propagate on the inside of the barrel to such an extent that the wine is not anymore exposed to oxygen but the yeast/flor common to in the area of Monterrei. After 9 months of barrel ageing the wine was bottled and remain in bottle from 2010 to 2014 when it was release to the market.
PRODUCTION: 250 cases (6 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The winery's vineyards are located in Zone 1, towards the interior of Galicia, close to the Portuguese border. The two vineyards that made Crianza Oxidativa are located in the lower part of the valley of Monterrei at 460 meters (1,500 ft.) elevation, within the northern district of Pazos de Monterrei on the west side of the Tamega River. The soils are sand from decomposed slate. The climate is Atlantic with a Continental influence. Monterrei is one of the Galician appellations furthest from the Atlantic Ocean. This inland Continental setting brings a drier and warmer climate than western Galician regions. Here, there's an average 23 inches of yearly rainfall while closer to the water in Rias Baixas, the average is 93 inches.
TASTING NOTES: Yellow-colored, with a nose mixing oxidative and reductive characteristics, with plenty of notes of nuts (bitter almond), green tea, balsamic, yeasts, a mineral overtone, and no fruit whatsoever. The medium to full-bodied palate shows pungent flavors of flor (brine, olives and green almonds) with good persistence. A white of marked personality, not for everybody. Quite radical, actually.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold