2020 Bodegas Margon "Primeur" Prieto Picudo, Leon, Spain
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The grapes for this wine are from 60-100 year old vines. Most of the vineyards use traditional bush trained, low lying vines. All the grapes are destemed and fermented with native yeasts in 5,000 l old wood vats. The wines stays with the skins for about 55 days and then pressed. The wine is aged in the large wood vats for around 1 year. 100% Prieto Picudo displaying wonderful freshness that compliments the blue and black berry body. This medium-bodied red is soft and inviting.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
In 1995, Eugenio Gonzalez and Raul Perez began a journey together to learn more about Prieto Picudo and Albarin and how to make wines from these grapes in Leon. After about 10 years of experimentation, they began to build Bodegas Margon in 2006. In 2006 and 2007 they purchased 75 plots, totaling 19 hectares of vineyards with vines aged from 90 to over 100 years of age in the area of Pajares de los Oteros south and west of Leon city.
The soils here are clay based and in some areas there is more sand or some limestone. The two varieties they focus on are a white called Albarin, and a red called Prieto Picudo. Albarin is typically confused with the similar sounding and famous variety albarino, which it has no relation to as the two varieties are genetically distinct. To us the resulting wines from Albarin have a very Chenin Blanc leaning characteristic. Prieto Picudo is a red variety that is the same as Alfrocheiro, found in Portugal, mostly the Dao but also a bit in Alentejo, and is also the same as Baboso Negro found throughout the Canary Islands. The variety is often confused with Trousseau (or Bastardo in Spain) and while it is genetically a very close relative, it is considered a separate variety. Prieto Picudo grown in Leon tends to be richly colored with aromatics and flavors of bright blackberries and strawberries. Because the variety naturally has a fairly acidic backbone to it, the wines have great lift and energy.
Raul and the team work the vineyards very responsibly – practicing organic and a viticulture style that maintains the local traditions of very low bush pruning techniques. In the winery, Raul works with native yeasts, no to low sulphur and large old wood. Many of the reds see long aging in wood and, somewhat uniquely, in the cases of the single parcel wines, long aging under flor. This process he feels helps to refine the acids and tannins to produce wines of great complexity and elegance.