Uva de Vida “Latitud 40” (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla 2015) Joven
Special 6-pack Price: $124 (~$21/bottle)
The wife-and-husband team of Carmen López and Luis Ruiz have harnessed the soul of the land to produce wines of purity, brilliance and energy, expressing the native grape of Graciano, a key variety of the Gran Reservas in Rioja that contributes higher aromatics and brightness. Biodiversity of plant and animal life is promoted in their 33 acres of vines planted at 1,600 feet of altitude in the clay-based soils near the tiny village of Santa Olalla in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, just up the road from the city of Toledo.
When they began the Uva de Vida project in 2005 their first intention was to cultivate vineyards with high quality fruit without the use of synthetic chemicals that they could sell at a better price than the typical cooperative producer. They almost immediately discovered that buyers weren’t all that interested in fruit grown with biodynamic techniques so the couple decided to produce the wine themselves.
With an aim of capturing the essence of the landscape of Central Spain, Uva de Vida employs minimal intervention techniques from start to finish. The fruit is collected by hand in small boxes to keep it intact until fermentation is started spontaneously with indigenous yeasts. Aging for the “Latitud 40” Joven is completed in stainless steel vats before bottling without fining, filtering, or the addition of sulfites. The risk a winemaker runs with this type of minimal intervention is that the wines can show aromatic and flavor characteristics that have nothing to do with the terroir and everything to do with bacteria in the cellar. That is certainly not the case here. Uva de Vida’s wines are pure.
100% Graciano and nearly opaque deep red, a glass of “Latitud 40” radiates aromas of cherry fruit leather, dark chocolate, herbs, and salty, sun-baked earth. These heady scents merge seamlessly into a mid-weight sip of blackcurrant fruit with a long and juicy finish. This is a wine that ought to pair with nearly any food charred on a grill.