February 2020 Wine Club Red

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2020-02_Red
2015 QUITE VERONICA ORTEGA
Born and raised in Cadiz, Veronica Ortega came of age surrounded by the pungent aromas of flor, evaporating sherry, and the ocean. She has worked in Priorat, New Zealand, in Burgundy at Comte Armand, and DRC, in the northern Rhone at Domaine Combier—all before finally returning to Spain and working several years alongside Raul Perez in Bierzo.

In Bierzo, Veronica found Mencia, a variety that bears many similarities to both Pinot Noir and Syrah—refreshing acidity, bright fruit flavors, and an affinity for expressing terroir. Bierzo is home to an ancient winemaking tradition, a unique climate that straddles the divide between cool maritime Galicia and the torrid central plateau of Spain, and two distinctive soils types: granitic sand and calcareous clay.

When Veronica Ortega settled in Bierzo, she acquired several plots of old-vine Mencia near the village of Valtuille de Abrajo on sandy and clay soils. After a few vintages of just making, ROC, a single wine from these vines, Veronica began to discern that the sandier plots were more expressly and delicately floral and benefited from a shorter time in barrel. From this realization, Quite was born in 2012. Since this first vintage, Veronica has continued to seek ways to emphasize the innate qualities of Quite—she now destems the fruit entirely, ferments in tank, has shortened the maceration, and employs 800L amphorae for aging a portion of the wine.

As was the fashion at the time they were planted, Veronica’s plots are not entirely Mencia, and on close inspection one can find small percentages of other indigenous varieties planted alongside the Mencia—both red and white. Instead of letting these grapes go to waste they get co-fermented with the Mencia. In any given vintage there can be an inclusion of 8% of white varieties (Palomino Fino, Godello and Valenciana) and 5% red (Garnacha, Tintorera and Merenzao).

Quite is a fluid, fruity and juicy wine. On the nose aromas of red and black fruit are prevalent. It is easy to drink and fresh.

It pairs well with poultry, mature cheeses, roasts and grilled red meats.

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This post was written by SFW&S