There are a lot of manifestos floating around at the moment in the world of Spanish wine (some in favour of unique vineyards, some in favour of bag in box), but I think this one is particularly interesting. It is now several months since it was reported (and live tweeted by some of the protagonists ) but I was reminded of it recently in an exchange on a forum with a fellow enthusiast .
The “119” is a reference to the large number of varieties of grape that were recorded by the eminent 19th Century botanist Simon Rojas Clemente as autoctonous to Andalucia, of which 40 or so were found in the region of Cadiz. 200 years on, a passionate group of winemakers are setting out to bring some of these varieties back, replanting the varieties and making some interesting stuff with them.
I have taken the liberty of borrowing the above picture from the blog post – because it is a cracking round up of the usual suspects (who also happen to be among my favourite wine makers): Ramiro Ibañez, Willy Perez, Armando Guerra, Primitivo Collantes, the guys from Forlong and the guys from Callejuela.
To be honest I haven’t really had a chance to try many of the actual wines: off the top of my head the Encrucijado (which has a coupage of palomino and five others), tintilla de rota in various forms and maybe at a pinch the three strains of palomino in the UBE (although they may only count as 1 of the 40, not sure).
The article though talks about a few interesting projects: 1700 vines of “uva Rey” or mantúo planted by Primitivo Collantes; wines from gateta made by a bodega in Chiclana called el Sanatorio; a bodega called Ambrosio de Olvera working with perruno; and an outfit called Mostolé with plans to plant mantua castellana and alarije dorada.
I certainly hope to try some before I get too much older. For the time being, all power to the 119.