Brett happens

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Two insular reds

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The teaser sent to MWG members prior to the tasting described this flight as “Two richer, soft red blends from the same vintage. The insular estates are in the same country but geographically about as far apart as it’s possible to be. No other connections.”

Valle de la Orortava 2013, 7 Fuentes, Soagranorte ($21.20, 12475425)
A 90-10 blend of Listán Negro and Tintilia (which appears to be none other than the Jura’s Trousseau aka Bastardo) from ungrafted vines between 10 and 100 years old and grown in various parcels at altitudes ranging from 400 to 650 m on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. The grapes from each vineyard were vinified separately. Manually harvested in early September. Alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts and manual punch-downs was in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Sixty percent of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and eight months’ maturation in 5,700-litre concrete tanks while the remainder was matured in 500-litre French oak casks. Reducing sugar: 2.1 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: LVAB.
Much cleaner than the bottle tasted last February. Slight reduction on the nose but otherwise fine: spice, red fruit, earth, animale, pencil lead, dried herbs, forest floor… in a word, complex. A taste reveals a supple surface, bright acidity and lightly astringent underlay. The clean fruit (cherry, blackcurrant) is forward but the wine is too savoury (dry, peppery, minerally), fluid and fresh to be a bomb. Nicely sustained finish. The closest parallel – though the flavours are different – is a Corsican red like Alzipratu’s Fiumeseccu bottling. Good QPR. (Buy again? Yes.)

Vino de la terra de Mallorca 2013, 12 Volts, 4 Kilos vinícola ($28.85, 11852479)
The estate’s name refers to the two owners’ start-up stake in the winery (4 million pisetas), the smallness of the sum being explained by the fact that wines were originally made in a low-overhead garage. The striking label is the work of Gary Baseman. This 2013 is a blend of CalletFogoneu (60%), Syrah (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Merlot (10%) from vines averaging 20 years old and grown in various parts of Majorca. Manually harvested. Macerated and fermented in stainless steel vats – initially at 20°C and rising to 28°C – for around 20 days. After malolactic fermentation ended, 40% of the wine was transferred to a mix of 3,000-litre foudres and the rest into 225-litre French oak barrels (half second fill and half third fill) for nine months’ maturation. 48,000 bottles and 600 magnums were made. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Entreprise UVAS.
Darker and richer than the 7 Fuentes on both the nose and the palate. Modern heading toward New Worldish but not too: a mouthful of dense, ripe red and black fruit with a velvety texture, good structure (round tannins, sufficient acidity) and an obvious-but-not-fatiguing overlay of oak. Broader than it is deep, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Black spice (pepper, licorice) and dried herbs join the fruit and vanilla on a fairly long finish. Easy to like. (Buy again? Sure.)

Suspecting Entreprise UVAS might offer 4 Kilos’ eponymous flagship wine as a private import, I’d originally hoped to serve it alongside the 12 Volts. Since the agency doesn’t have a website, I turned to various search engines, which provided contact information for the purported president and sales manager. Emails sent to their business and personal addresses bounced. All the phone numbers but one were not in service and the voice mail box for the working number was filled to overflowing. The sales manager’s house – located a couple of blocks from my place – has been up for sale for several months. Attempted contacts through LinkedIn and Facebook went unanswered. Even the SAQ couldn’t provide anything other than the outdated contact info. Has the agency been sold? Does it even exist any more?

MWG January 14th tasting: flight 7 of 7

Written by carswell

January 28, 2016 at 13:59

5 Responses

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  1. Hey, finally seems I was right. Heavy reduction of the first months of bottling. I opened one last week again.
    By the way, I just told 4 Kilos the problem with the agent


    February 16, 2016 at 17:21

    • many thanks for your words about 12volts (and 7 fuentes too, a wine we love) bretthappens.We are trying to solve the “no-agent”problem in quebec
      many thanks for your notice vinosdetenerife


      February 18, 2016 at 03:07

      • How cool to hear from you, 4kilos! Please keep us posted on any Quebec agent developments. I look forward to tasting future vintages of 12 Volts, not to mention other 4 Kilos cuvées.


        February 19, 2016 at 14:13

    • Well, I’m still not convinced our first bottle wasn’t corked (it could have come from the cork itself, not the winery, you know). In any case, the other two bottles I’ve encountered have, a bit of reduction aside, been clean as a whistle and totally enjoyable. I hope the SAQ will carry future vintages and even some of the other wines you make. Thanks for cluing in 4 Kilos, vinosdetenerife, and thanks for commenting!


      February 19, 2016 at 14:10

  2. […] to drink, what the French call digeste. A crowd-pleaser too. Less international in style than the 2013 and better for it. (Buy again? […]

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