Jose Antonio Garcia El Chuqueiro 2014
Pair with scallops, grilled fish and herb-roasted chicken.
Husband and wife team Jose Antonio and Julia Peña García are at the forefront of the next-generation of vignerons in Bierzo, leading the change towards wines of place and definition. Their familial roots in Bierzo are fundamental to them, as they do all of the work in the vineyards themselves. Jose’s mother is a native of Valtuille de Abajo, and his father is a native of Corullón. Together, Jose and Julia’s families have owned vineyards in Bierzo for generations, providing wines that would become the backbone of other famous blends. In the spirit of elevating their family holdings and with an inexhaustible work ethic, Jose and Julia set out recuperating historic vineyards by hand, recovering them one by one from the stranglehold of wild ivy. A monumental work, considering the 22ha they own and the fact that they are doing all of the work themselves. In the same way, working out of a tiny, crumbling building hundreds of years old in Valtuille de Abajo, Jose and Julia have brought the structure back to life by hand, stone by stone, building new walls and a new future from the rubble of previous generations. All work is done with minimal intervention and with the intention of focusing the development of the differentiation of the terroirs in Valtuille. They own 22 hectares old vines which sit between 500 to 800+ meters elevation. The different parcels that José Antonio works with are divided into stylistically distinct wines.
One of the few northwestern Spanish regions with a focus on a red variety, Bierzo, part of Castilla y León, is home to the flowery and fruity Mencia grape. Mencia produces balanced and bright red wines full of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, baking spice, pepper and black licorice. The well-drained soils of Bierzo are slate and granite.
Godello is native to northwest Spain and has experienced a major revival in the last 20 years. Godello wines are typically sleek and lightly creamy in texture. Barrel fermentation and lees stirring are typical in Valdeorras, Spain where the grape comes from. These winemaking techniques make the most of Godello's inherent structure and help bring out its lovely floral character. Somm Secret—DNA profiling says that Spain’s Godello is actually identical to the Portugese grape variety Gouveio, which grows throughout the Douro and Dão (where it used to mistakenly be called Verdelho).