Maestro Tejero

Ribera Del Duero, Spain.

Available nationwide.

Alfredo Maestro is a grower who has turned the staid traditionalism of Ribera del Duero on its head. Throwing out the conventional script (along with the new barrique), his many rewrites have included conversion to organic farming and eliminating any chemicals in the vineyard or additions in the cellar. By 2003, when the term ‘natural wine’ was still in its infancy, all of Maestro’s wines were being fermented with their native yeasts and bottled without filtration—and in most cases without sulphur. These ideas came instinctively.

Maestro’s strength revolves around revitalising ancient majuelos—small, old-vine parcels dotted through the highlands of Ribera del Duero and the mountains around Madrid. Today he works fifty or so of these majuelos (some consisting of just a few rows of vines) many of which have been donated to him by traditional owners who know he will coax the best out of their precipitous, high plots and extremely old vines.

A prominent exponent of the natural movement in Spain, Maestro works renegade-style, far outside the confines of his vineyards’ D.O. legislation, meaning the wines are not labelled according to their region of origin. As with most one-man bands, he has been content to sell what little wine he makes to an enthusiastic gang of local supporters and a handful of importers. He now farms nine hectares of old-vine highland vineyards on outcrops of limestone or granite and runs two small, rudimentary bodegas: the first located in his native Peñafiel; and the other in the Navalcarnero area, 200 kilometres south in the hills above Madrid. Like the other conservative bastions of Spanish viticulture, Ribera now has its own avant-garde pied piper.

Wine

Lovamor

Variety

Albillo

Terroir

Limestone, clay

Vineyard

Sierra de Gredos

Viticulture

Organic

Winemaking

Hand-picked, de-stemmed and crushed for a seven-day fermentation on skins in stainless steel and one (old) 2000-litre barrel using indigenous yeast. No additions made aside from a little bit of sulphur to avoid excessive oxidation in the juice. No malolactic fermentation carried out due to the cold Castilian winter, which, after several months with the tank and barrel outside, helps stabilise the wine. Settled, racked and blended prior to bottling.

Viña Almate

Variety

Tempranillo

Terroir

Clay/calcareous soils

Vineyard

Nava de Roa and Valtiendas

Viticulture

Organic

Winemaking

Picked by hand, de-stemmed and crushed to stainless steel vessels before natural fermentation. Daily pump-overs, with 12-15 days of maceration. No additions made. Left to settle and complete malolactic fermentation over 30 days before racking and bottling.

A Dos Tiempos

Variety

Tempranillo, Grenache

Terroir

Sand and decomposed granite

Vineyard

Navalcarnero (Madrid)

Viticulture

Organic

Winemaking

50/50 Tempranillo and Grenache picked at two times (‘a dos tiempos’). The first just a few days after veraison, and the second at full ripeness. All hand-picked, de-stemmed and crushed straight after picking. Natural fermentation in stainless steel with daily pump-overs, macerated for 25 days. After settling and malolactic fermentation (approximately 20-30 days), the two picks are racked separately into used French barriques, and allowed to settle before blending and bottling.

El Marciano Garnacha

Variety

Grenache

Terroir

Granite/sand soils overlay a granite bedrock

Vineyard

Navarredondilla (Ávila)

Viticulture

Biodynamic

Winemaking

Picked by hand, lightly crushed and pressed (50% de-stemmed). Wild yeast fermentation in stainless steel with no additions of any kind. Daily pump-overs and 20 days maceration on skins, pressing and malolactic fermentation completed in stainless steel. Aging over winter in tank outside the winery (cold temperatures naturally clarify and stabilise the wine). Racked prior to bottling.

El Rey Del Glam

Variety

Grenache

Terroir

Granite, loamy-sandy and clay soils to limestone.

Vineyard

Navarrendondilla & Peñafiel

Viticulture

Organic

Winemaking

Picked by hand before whole-bunch fermentation in stainless steel tanks (using wild yeasts without any additions). Pressing and malolactic fermentation completed in the same tank. Aging over winter in tank outside the winery (cold temperatures naturally clarify and stabilise the wine). Racked prior to bottling.

Orders

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