Ercavio Tempranillo 2006
Mas Que Vinos = 3 Winemakers & 3 Friends. Margarita Madrigal, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and Alexandra Schmedes met in 1998 in Rioja and began a "flying winemaker" consultant firm, taking them to projects across Spain. They were drawn to Gonzalo's home town of Dosbarrios where they saw great potential in the vineyards and decided to launch their own project, Ercavio, named for an old Roman settlement. They renovated an old family winery (from 1851) with typical tinajas (large clay wine vats: the traditional and antique method for fermenting in the region), located in the house of La plazuela in Dosbarrios. It is here that the wine la Plazuela is barrel aged.
The area of the village Dosbarrios, Huerta and Cabañas, with their vineyards is the Mesa de Ocaña, located about 60km east of Toledo. The continental climate is especially suited to growing grapes with cold, dry winters and hot summers, tempered by high altitude cooling.
La Mancha is one of the few areas of Spain that benefits from one single climate instead of two or three such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero. This Continental climate favors the extremes, with very cold winters and very hot summers. In the summer, and because of the altitude (often over 700 meters), the nights are quite cool which is perfect for an grape maturation. Soils in the zone are usually clay and limestone, with small patches of granite.
Mas Que Vinos works with two varietals with which many American buyers may not be familiar. Cencibel, a red varietal, is simply another name for Tempranillo when grown in certain areas of Central and Southern Spain. Arien, equally as unknown, is Spain’s most widely planted white varietal. Bunches are large and very tightly packed and alcohol levels tend to be between 13% and 14%. Often it is added to a blend for texture, but as it tends to be lower in alcohol in the area near Mas Que Vinos and the aromatics quite interesting, the property has decided to make it the centerpiece of their white wine.