There is always a tinge of excitement when you are driving up to a lagar or bodega. You never know what to expect or who you will meet. This always excites us.
We are often accompanied by Rafa on our visits but this time we were on our own although he did arrange the visit for us. SatNav did its job well enough and we arrived in good time for our tour at Lagar la Primilla.
Set in the Sierra de Montilla at Cerro Macha, the highest point in the area, this is a very scenic place with 33 hectares of olives and vines.
In the 4th generation of ownership this place oozes heritage and tradition.
We acquainted ourselves with the bodega’s dogs while taking in the ambiance of the location.
Then from a building to the left came Charo Jiménez. Dressed to impress and full of character. Armed with a box of tricks that was an English narrative of each stage of our tour. We do to some degree understand Spanish in relation to wine but this was a great help.
Charo is a descendent of the original owners and is rightfully proud of their enterprise and especially their heritage.
Of the 33 hectares, 30% is olives with 70% wine made up of 80% Pedro Ximénez and 20% of Montepila vines. The vines stretch out from the lagar in all directions and are best viewed from the terrace. Charo stressed the point of the micro-climate in the area and how important the albarizo is in retaining moisture and slowing maturation.
Quality control is done in the vineyard so all of the grapes are pre selected before entering the production process, which usually takes 10 minutes from vineyard to lagar. Once pressed the wine is left for a month before moving to the casks or tinajas.
In the tinaja room we tried some of the 2016 vintage tinaja wine. As this was direct from the tinaja, Charo encouraged us to try to be venenciadors.
Then we moved on to the official bottlings starting with the tinaja wine which is made from 83% Pedro Ximénez and 17% Montepila. With this wine we found aromas of green apples and banana and a hint of smoked bacon. On tasting it was fruity with apples and a slight saltiness and bitter on the finish but pleasantly so.
Next stop on the tour was the Bodega de Crianza.
The 1st wine we tried was the Laurel Fino at 15% ABV which interestingly as well as Pedro Ximénez also has Montepila in it like the tinaja wine but has spent 3 years under a veil of yeast biologically ageing.
Next up was the Amontillado, we must highlight the fun of the chalk caricature on the cask first.
However from the website we noted that this is 22% ABV and is also made from Pedro Ximénez and Montepila grapes.
These are the 1st fino and amontillado wines from Montilla-Moriles that we have tried with a blend of 2 different grape varietes. It is difficult enough to describe wine when but these were delicious.
We also tried their extra virgin olive oil and grape syrup
Lastly and the signature wine of the Lagar is the Pedro Ximénez. From 2007 with an ABV of 14.5%, this oozed raisins and a coffee profile with a licquorice finish. It was a smooth and elegant finish to our tour.
Many thanks to our excellent host Charo and for Rafa for organising this. It is a must see if you are in the region.
Lagar la Primilla