“Cuatrogatos”, or “four cats”, comes from a joyous Spanish expression meaning “very few people”. I am pretty sure the name was chosen in reference to the very few people that drink the adventurous, indy wines that the club is focussed on but it is also true that there are very few guys around like Federico Ferrer, the fantastic bloke behind the Cuatrogatos Wine Club (for some reason pictured above with something foamy).
My first contact with the Cuatrogatos was last September when looking for one of the most exciting wines of the last year: the Callejuela Manzanilla de Añada. I remember seeing a picture of this revolutionary liquid on twitter and tweeting to find out where I could get it. Within seconds I was directed to the Cuatrogatos – making that my most important tweet of the year by a distance.
Because that amazing wine was the first of many gems I have discovered via the club – other highlights include the El Cerro oloroso, an old vine PX from Callejuela, the spectacular Fino by Alexander Jules (and the Manzanilla which isn’t too shabby either), the Maruja Manzanilla Pasada, the Encrucijado and the Pandorga. And all that was before I managed to persuade the Cuatrogatos to send me the full catalogue and discovered more than a distributor of exciting sherries. The catalogue reads, in fact, like an A-Z of up and coming winemakers in Spain, with names like Zarate, Albamar, Coto de Gomariz, Zorzal, Tentenublo, Barco del Corneta, Charlotte Allen, Silice, Losada, Mengoba, Quinta Milu, Altos de San Esteban, and Bernabé Navarro alongside Alexander Jules, Juan Piñero, Primitivo Collantes, Callejuela and Cota 45.
It is a fantastic selection of stuff that is both interesting in itself and hard to get elsewhere, and a testament to the passion of the guy behind it all. I will never forget meeting Federico earlier this month – not only did he introduce me to one of the most exciting winemaking talents around and help organize an inspirational visit to the vineyards of Jerez and Sanlucar, he brought more than his share of good humour to the party – even as we were pillageing his 100 year old birthday-present amontillado (no greater love hath any wine lover, etc.).
The great Marx (G) was famed for not caring to be member of any club that would have him as a member, but even old Groucho would have approved of the Cuatrogatos. As the web says: no membership card is necessary, only the desire to have fun.