GONZALO GONZALO GRIJALBA, Rioja Alta (La Tejera)
Biodynamic principles, natural
Gonzalo Gonzalo was born in Logroño, Spain and grew up among the vineyards that his parents cultivated in Fuenmayor. Fiercely protective of the terroir of his family vineyards Gonzalo rejects market driven fashions, formulae, chemical treatments and conformism. Instead he has sought out his own methods with respect for the land, his vineyards, and the traditions of his forefathers.
He balances this respect with formal training in the latest enological techniques and methods. The 100% Tempranillo vineyards themselves were planted 35 years ago in the town of Fuenmayor in the La Tejera subregion, which is an area between groves of trees along the Ebro River and Mount San Llorente in the heart of the Rioja Alta sub-zone. The soil is calcareous clay and the vineyards are 4.5 hectares in size. Gonzalo and his helpers, Teresa and Fernando, tend the vines methodically, and with perfection in mind, year-round and work only with the best grapes they can coax from the land. Using biodynamic methods, they follow the lunar cycle in vineyard and the winery.
In the end Gran Cerdo is all about the purest expression of fruit with whole bunch fermentation, no filtration, no stabilization and minimal sulphites. The wine has real character, all the juicy elements of Tempranillo, with no oak to mask its charm. With its cherry-red, purplish, brilliant colour, Gran Cerdo reveals primary notes of fresh fruit, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and violets with clean mineral tones from the granite. This little natural wine is phenomenal value.
“A large proportion of inexpensive Spanish Tempranillo tastes over-oaked and confected. This unoaked version had good clean cherry fruits, nice supporting acidity and a cleansing minerality. Well-made wine at the price.”
John Wilson IRISH TIMES