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Some wines from Quinta da Muradella

Show all 4 wines

Appellations Quinta da Muradella

History Quinta da Muradella

José Luis Mateo owns one of the smallest estates in our portfolio, but his wine production is amongst the very best of Spain. It all started by chance: José’s brother had a bar in Verín, the largest town in DO Monterrei, and he needed some not-too-expensive wine to serve to his customers. José Luis set to work and produced some sort of pale red.

This is how he caught the wine virus… and decided to try to make better wine.

He started the Quinta da Muradella project in 1991, with the support of the whole family. Right from the start, he decided to work with the old grapes of the region and try to rehabilitate them. A lot of the region’s vineyards had been abandoned because it was not profitable anymore. Block by block, José Luis began to restore these vines, applying the organic principles – his estate is certified – and even biodynamics.

In 2000, he met Raúl Pérez (Spain’s most inescapable oenologist) who helped him to progress again. Together, they began a quest for spectacular and often abandoned vines on virtually inaccessible spots.

This gave life to the ‘A Trabe Project’, which are amongst Spain’s best wines, in red and in white.

Quinta da Muradella has opened a new chapter in the Spanish wine history. Atlantic influences give the reds a new unprecedented dimension.

Varieties

José Luis controls 24 hectares of vines, spread between 34 blocks of vines on all sides of the DO. Some are old vines (A Trabe, Finca Notario…), others are new vineyards planted with clones of the parents which José Luis selected in the old vines.

With all the grapes he grows, he only produces one wine per colour and grape variety.

These grapes are as follows:

In white, Doña blanca is the most common, then comes Treixadura (also used in Ribeiro), Verdello (the Galician version of Rueda’s Verdejo), Monstruosa de Monterrei (called this way because of the size of its grapes), Bastardo rubio, Torrontés, Caíño blanco and Albariño.

In red, Bastardo (also called Merenzao in Portugal, it is thought to be linked with Tenerife’s Baboso), Mencía, Caíño redondo, Caíño longo, Zamarrica, Brancellao (aka Albarello), Sousón, Arauxa (a local version of Tempranillo), Serodio, Verdello tinto, Tintorera, Touriga Nacional, Prieto Picudo and Syrah.

Terroir

The Támega River, a tributary of the Douro flows through the whole DO Monterrei, from north to south. On each side of the valley, there are two different types of bedrocks. On the left side, granite dating from the Ordovician (between 488 and 443 million years ago). On the right side, mainly slate, formed in the same era, and also iron, wolframite and tin.

The different blocks of vines of the estate are spread between the two types of soils. Their altitude varies from 360 to 900 m.

In the northwest (Gorvia and Finca El Notario): transition zones from granite to iron shale/schist and alluvial deposits.

In the southwest: pure granite, with sand on the surface (Oimbra vines).

In the southeast: at the meeting point between two layers that appear on the surface, iron slates and clays are to be found; they are the result of the erosion of the upper soils. Lower, granitic sands mixed with clay dominate. These are the proper vine blocks of Quinta da Muradella (11.6 ha).

Not far from there is the A Trabe vine, in the Vilardevós Mounts (870 m), on very eroded slates. On this small block (1.2 ha), all grapes are planted together, according to the old system. This vine is more than 100 years old.

Monterrei has a semi-continental/semi-Atlantic climate; the risk of frost is high until the month of May.

Winemaking

Harvesting by hand. Indigenous yeasts only. The winemaking method is adapted to each wine, the rule being not to manipulate the grapes unnecessarily. Long macerations on lees, in oak barrels (500 to 1500 litres). Then, again, the ageing process depends on the type of wine.

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