2015 Alfredo Maestro, Tempranillo, Vina Almate, Penafiel, Vdt Castilla y Léon, Spain.
Alfredo Maestro’s Vina Almate Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) is from organic vines near Madrid in Penafiel grown on river stones, clay and alluvial soils in this warm continental climate area not too far away from Ribera del Duero. Maestro is a leader in natural wine and loves the old vines found near his hometown, he uses all organic farming, no added sulphur in most of his wines and uses almost no new oak to present wines and his region in the purist form, and his wonderful entry level Vina Almate is fresh and juicy with lovely deep color and subtle earthy tones along with an almost Beaujolais like vibrancy, and it’s great with a slight chill too, showing dark berry, plum, cherry and strawberry compote along with spicy tobacco leaf, lavender/anise, peppered violet and saline/stony loam. This ripe and tangy unfiltered Vina Almate 2015 cuvee was fermented with native yeasts, with 80% whole cluster, which adds to the spice and structure while allowing for ripe and smooth tannins, and aged a short time in tank and neutral French cask. Alfredo Maestro wines are imported by Jose Pastor Selections and are widely available, though limited, so look for them, I’ve been a huge fan over the last 5 to 7 years and the wines are just getting better and better with each new vintage, in particular these 2015’s! The authentic and raw detail are welcome in this pleasing Tempranillo adding a earthy/savory element to this fruity warm vintage wine, if you want a true “natural” wine at a great price, you should check out all of Alfredo Maestro’s wines, especially this fun Vina Almate, drink now, it’s great everyday stuff and super with tapas and BBQ!
($18 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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