MCF Rare Wine Ltd.

Goyo Garcia and Alfredo Maestro

Late last year, I offered out some wines from Laura Lorenzo's tiny winery in Northern Spain.  They were truly compelling wines made in an impossibly honest, elegant and pure style.

People went crazy for them...and are still asking about when they will be back.

There will be some more soon, but numbers will be even more scarce than in the past.

The good news, however, is that there are other brilliant winemakers in other parts of Spain micro-producing wine in a similar style to Laura's.

For example...

We all think of Ribera del Duero (one of Spain's most heralded regions) as the home of big, bold, intensely structured reds made from the Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino) grape -- the quintessential Spanish steak wine.  

Alfredo Maestro and Goyo Garcia are two producers who craft impossibly elegant, subtly complex and silkily pure reds from the region and they will change your mind about what Tempranillo is capable of.

Though their styles and approaches are very similar, they both arrived at this point from different directions.

Alfredo planted his first vineyard in 1998 and basically taught himself to make wine by reading books whereas Goya came from one of the most storied families in the Ribera del Duero.

Alfredo's wines don't say 'Ribera del Duero' on the label because, rather than go for appellation status, he makes wines based on each site, and that means he includes all the grapes that are planted there, Tempranillo or otherwise.  So instead of making a 'Ribera del Duero' of Tempranillo from the Asperilla vineyard, he co-ferments the Tempranillo with Garnacha, Albilo and even Moscatel and Palomino. 

This is ultimately be the biggest difference in the wines, Goyo's are indeed gloriously supple versions of appellation Ribera, while Alfredo's step into the fringes (more than) a bit.

Both of them came to the conclusion along their careers that 'less is more' or, perhaps a better way to say it is, 'less yields more' when making wine.

With great care in the vineyard and a gentle touch in the winery, the end results are stunningly refined wines that communicate the essence of their home so eloquently, yet do so without yelling.

Like I often say when discussing these kinds of wines, they speak softly, but they have plenty to say.

The unwavering attention to detail and all-around commitment it takes to make wines like these is beyond admirable but the end result is something that is truly beyond words.

These are truly special and I can't emphasize their quality enough.

All four of these wines are available in extremely limited quantities and I may have to cap orders if need be. 





Goyo Garcia Viadero Ribera del Duero Finca el Peruco 2012 $53    
Of the two Garcia wines, this is the more earthy and aromatic.  The smooth, soft dark fruits have a lot of rustic undertones and savory spicy character.  This is more elegant and seamless...and delicious.





Goyo Garcia Ribera del Duero Finca Vinas de Arcilla 2011 $57

This is definitely a step up in structure and muscle, though that's in the context of Goyo, of course.  This has more of that traditional Ribera taste to it, with a heftier fruit and firmer backbone.  The wonderful rustic Tempranillo flavor comes through beautifully. 






Castrillo de Duero 2013 $27
From a vineyard of 70 year old Tinto Fino vines called La Ladera in Ribera del Duero, this is perhaps Alfredo's most straightforward bottling in terms of the what you expect from the region -- but that's not to say it's run-of-the-mill.  The flavors are classic Ribera, with dark, muscular fruit, wonderful rustic earthiness and some serious heft for a wine of this style at this price.  This is definitely the most broad-shouldered wine in this offer and screams for fire-grilled meat. 





Viña Almate La Asperilla 2014 $53

As I mentioned above, this is a rather esoteric blend from a single, 85-year old vineyard at 750 meters of elevation in Ribera del Duero.  The vineyard is co-planted with Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), Albillo, Moscatel and Palomino (yes, Palomino).  The wine is co-fermented with wild yeasts and ultimately spends a year in 2000 litre chestnut barrels.  The end result is truly breathtaking.  It embodies every kind of yin/yang duality you can think of -- it's powerful, yet impossibly elegant, it's dark and brooding, yet wildly aromatic and lively, it stands firmly in the middle of your palate, yet somehow dances on the edges of your senses.  Only 1000 bottles produced! 

Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street
NYC 10011