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Bodegas Alvear – “3 Miradas” Parcels

When we visited Montilla in September 2017, the Tres Miradas range was an impending launch. This is the latest collaboration between Envínate and Bodegas Alvear.

As we were going to miss it we asked if we could be sent some details and perhaps learn more about the new range when we returned in January 2018.

To say that we were delighted with their response is an understatement.

The initial arrangements were that we would meet with Bernado Lucena, Alvear’s winemaker, and presumed tht it would be at the bodega.

We discovered on our arrival in Montilla that the plans were to change.

It seemed that Bernado had other commitments and that we would be meeting María Alvear, 8th generation of the Alvear family, not at the bodega but at one of our go to restaurants in Montilla, Los Lagares.

We walked into Los Lagares and to our surprise, both María and Bernado were already there to welcome us.

After the formalities of introductions we settled down at a table in the rear of the restaurant.

There was a selection of the 3 Miradas bottlings already laid out on the table and after a quick menu discussion María ordered some tapas to accompany the wines.

From Top Left to Right – Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, Partridge Pâté, Grilled Vegetables, Croquetas de Bacalao and Grilled Octopus with saffron mash potato

María commented that she had not brought the whole range as she knew that we had already ordered them from Bodegas Alvear’s shop and were picking them up later in the week.

Bernardo doing the honours

Each of the 3 wines were explained to us by Bernado and María, the Vino del Pueblo 2016, the El Garrotal 2016 and the El Garrotal 2016 Skin Contact.

We were still a bit overwhelmed by this experience but we took in every word that he and María shared with us.

The following information on the “3 Miradas” release comes directly from the information supplied by Bodegas Alvear: –

“The 3 Miradas project represents a search for the expression of a terroir historically known as Sierra de Montilla – Calidad Superior. The winemaking approach focuses on the vineyard rather than the aging system used in the winery. This is why the winemakers collaborated closely with growers on selected parcels in the region, planted with old head-trained Pedro Ximénez vines. A learning experience in one of the most important enclaves in the history of Spanish winegrowing.

The project has a viticultural focus, revealing the unique personality of each parcel and how it expresses itself depending on the work of the winegrower and the winemaking process. The wines, both with and without skin contact, all spent eight months under flor in concrete vats at the Lagar de Las Puentes winery.

This edition features three parcels -all with albariza soils, but different in orientation and elevation La Viña de Antoñín, El Garrotal and Cerro Macho.”

The wines in the Tres Miradas collection are fermented in tinaja-style vats in accordance with Montilla tradition and are briefly aged in casks, all under the same condition. The mature musts are fermented to 11.5–12.5% alcohol rather than waiting to reach 15% as required for the production of finos. As a rule, yields are low and the vineyard work is carried out with care and respect for the environment. The project will change every year, featuring different vineyards, winemaking techniques, and styles.

Each mirada or “look” is an interpretation of the soil and vineyard, its orientation, climate and elevation. The selected vineyards are La Viña Antoñín, Cerro Macho and El Garrotal.

  • La Viña de Antoñín 2016

La Viña de Antoñín is a west-facing parcel at 525 meters, located in Riofrío Alto. Old-vine Pedro Ximénez and some Vidueño, worked on with grower Pablo Delgado.

  • El Garrotal 2016

Garrotal, an east-facing parcel at 570 meters, is also located in Riofrío Alto, but at a higher elevation. Old-vine Pedro Ximénez, worked on with grower José Rosa.

  • Cerro Macho y Cerro Franco 2016

The two Cerro Macho parcels on the edge of Riofrío Alto have a southwest orientation and are the highest of the three, located at 610 meters. Old-vine Pedro Ximénez from growers José Rosa and Juan Antonio Espejo.

Vino de Pueblo 2016 – All of these parcels and others, which were part of the initial selection, are included in the Vino de Pueblo, or village wine, a blend that offers a true reflection of the Sierra de Montilla region.

Here is our review of the Vino de Pueblo 2016

Nose: Earthy, sherbet lemon with tinned peaches in the background.

Palate: Lemon zest, mandarin, mangos, a zing in the finish. Mouth watering.

We have still to review the remaining six 3 Miradas from the case we brought home in January, which is still intact.

Watch this space for our reviews.

The 2017 release of 3 Miradas will be available to taste at Vinoble 2018 (3rd to 5th June) in Jerez.  We are really looking forward to it.

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