We thought that it would be interesting to provide the following background information on the “3 Miradas” range from Bodegas Alvear to supplement our tasting notes. This is the latest collaboration between Envínate and 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”.
In January this year we met with María Alvear and Bernado Lucena to discuss and discover the “3 Miradas” range over tapas in Los Lagares.
María is 8th generation of the Alvear family and their Export and Marketing Director and Bernado is Alvear’s winemaker.
The ” 3 Miradas” was one topic among many other Alvear and wine related matters discussed, including our fascination with the region, which Maria questioned us on.
To get back to the “3 Miradas”. We prefer to review wines at home so we had already reserved the set last year to pick up during our visit. Here is what we thought: –
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.
Our Tasting Notes
La Viña de Antoñín 2016 – No skin contact
Nose: Green apples, peach and mango
Palate: Green apple skin, stoned fruit (plum) , Lemongrass with candied lemon. It is dry on the palate.
La Viña de Antoñín 2016 – Skin contact
Nose: Tropical fruits – mango and pineapple – with a slight grassiness
Palate: Sour plums, sherbet lemons, mango, ripe pineapple.
Not as dry as the no skin contact and has a longer finish with hints of more green apples.
El Garrotal 2016
El 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.
Our Tasting notes
El Garrotal 2016 – No skin contact
Nose: Apricots, green apple skins with woodiness and a slight perfumed background
Palate: Slight yeast with wood, peaches and tinned mandarin juice
El Garrotal 2016 – Skin contact
Nose: Beef carpcaccio / tartare, cinnamon, lemon zest and red apples.
Palate: Red apples, lime and slightly woody. Hint of butterscotch to finish.
It is drier on the palate than the non skin contact. It dries then goes back to moisture.
Cerro Macho y Cerro Franco 2016
The two Cerro Macho 2016 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.
Our Tasting Notes
Cerro Macho y Cerro Franco 2016 – No skin contact
Nose: Strawberry stalks, red apples and blackcurrant juice
Palate : Melon and peaches with applewood and grapefruit notes
Cerro Macho y Cerro Franco 2016 – Skin Contact
Nose: Red apple skins, earthy with rhubarb notes. Then woody with hints of sherbet lemon
Palate: Citrus – limes and lemons with a woody background.
It was very interesting to see and taste the differences between the no skin contact and skin contact wines from each plot. There was a favourite within each Mirada and an overall one but we will let you discover the range before we reveal ours.
Although not part of the 3 Miradas box set we also reviewed the Vino de Pueblo 2016
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.
Nose: Earthy, sherbet lemon with tinned peaches in the background.
Palate: Lemon zest, mandarin, mangos, a zing in the finish. Mouth watering.
We are really looking forward to exploring the new 2017 vintages of 3 Miradas due for release before the end of this year.
These will be taken from different plots in the Sierra de Montilla from those of the 2016 vintage.