Friday, January 11, 2013

'ICONIC' Winemakers NOELIA de PAZ and RAUL PEREZ Team-up at Spain's BODEGAS TAMPESTA by Philip S. Kampe

2013  is the year of the ‘hipster’ winemakers.
My favorite ‘hipster’ winemaker is Raul Perez, who I have written about in the past.
Raul is from Bierzo, located in northwest Spain. He is famous for his unusual winemaking methods. He submerges his wine bottles in a wire mesh cage underwater at the local Aurosa Estuary. The cage is lowered sixty feet into the water and is submerged for a minimum of two months.
The result is a fresh, lively 100% Albarino wine named ‘Sketch’.
The wine is made from 40 year old vines that grow four-hundred feet from the Atlantic ocean. The vines are harvested one to weeks after similar grapes to help create the basis for Sketch. The lack of oxygen, the great amount of pressure at sixty feet below sea level and low temperatures create a wine like no other. Intense minerals, stone fruit and citrus yield to the wines strength and finesse.
Raul Perez is a ‘hipster’.
He has teamed up with Noelia de Paz, a neighbor from Tierra de Leon, to make wines together. Noelia is the ‘hipster’ from the de Paz Tampesta family tree. Her father Juan Luis, his brothers Oscar and Leon, planted the vineyard, located in the Valdevimbre region of southern Leon in 2000.
Juan Luis's daughter, Noelia de Paz is the chief winemaker for Bodegas Tampesta.
This is the region known for the ‘Cult’ grape, Prieto Picudo.
Prieto Picudo is known for its densely packed grape clusters and its pine-nut shaped grapes (long and narrow). The deep blue-black skin is as aromatic as any grape can be.
The varietal is known for structure, intensity, concentration and aroma.
The winery at Bodegas Tampesta merges into the natural caves that have existed for centuries in the region. Modern technology paired with the history of the vineyards at Las Lagunillas , an area known for the quality of the ‘terroir’, help create wines with the Prieto Picudo grape that are both unique and special
Add  winemaker Raul Perez to the equation and the result has been amazing.
The wines from Bodegas Tampesta are handcrafted and are of limited production.

Tampesta Imelda 2010 is a wonderful example of a ‘Cult’, ‘Hipster’ wine.
Fifty cases were made by Noelia de Paz and Raul Perez.
Tampesta Imelda ($37) is made from 100% Prieto Picudo grapes. The vines are seventy years old. Clay soil dominates Valdevimbre. Cool temperatures at 2,400 feet and low rainfall help create this spicy, fruity, juicy, well structured twelve month oak aged wine.
The aroma of this wine is a symphony of smells combining lavender, leather, pumpkin and ginger.

Tampesta Finca de los Vientos 2009 ($17) is also made exclusively with 100% Prieto Picudo grapes. Noelia de Paz and Raul Perez naturally ferment and age the wine using stainless steel. Aromatics of cranberries and earthy figs dominate, while juicy, ripe dark fruit lingers on the palate. Good balance and structure. 2,300 cases produced.
Tampesta Rosado 2011 ($15) is an amazing rose made with 100% Prieto Picudo. The Rosado has won the hearts of numerous wine critics and was voted as one of the best 2011 roses in the marketplace. Thirteen hundred cases were produced of this herbal, tropical, acidic well-balanced wine.
Noelia de Paz and Raul Perez produced this Rosado  that has the punch of a professional fighter with the balance of a ballet dancer.
Each bottle made with the Prieto Picudo grape from  Bodegas Tampesta is a prize.
It is time to get yours.


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