Bodegas Gratias, Grys, Manchuela, Spain, 2021
When Ana and Iván got together for a party with some oenologist friends in 2007, they decided to make some wine and put it in a barrel.
The results of this first vintage were astonishing and so Bodegas Gratias was born. After the success of the first vintage, they realised they had a chance to make a difference. In a region with a declining wine industry, Ana and Iván are on a mission to protect old vineyards of Bobal, Tardana and other local varieties, championing the vinous heritage of the area. They champion Manchuela as a region capable of producing exciting and relevant wines that draw on the best of tradition and indigenous varieties, yet with a spin that is undeniably looking to the future. These wines are artisanal and as natural as they come, being organically grown, fermented with natural occurring yeasts and minute sulphur additions, if any.
Produced from the native grape ‘Coloraillo’ which was in danger of extinction but rescued through Ana and Iván’s crowd-funding project ¿Y tú de quién eres? Its name comes from the colour of the berries, which as a ‘gris’ variety are white but take on a burnished golden pink hue during ripening. An early ripening variety, and one of the first to be harvested, usually in the middle of August. The key to its success is that it maintains acidity even as total ripeness, so producing rounded, expressive, vibrant and full wines … very different to the typical perception of hot climate whites. Vineyards are located in the Cabriel Valley, less than 100km from the city of Valencia (and just Manchuela without the DO in this instance). Vines are 50 year dry farmed bush vines, managed organically and with sustainable practices. The continental Mediterranean climate offers a large diurnal temperature variance (around 20 degrees in summer), with dry warm summers and cold winters. Soils are white clay, clay-limestone with calcareous stones on the surface.
In true Gratias style, the winemaking is minimal intervention. The hand harvested bunches are loaded into small 10kg crates and upon arrival at the winery are immediately destemmed and pressed. After one day cold maceration, the juice begins fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Ageing takes place in stainless steel and 54l glass demi-johns, before being bottled un-fined and unfiltered to preserve the wines natural state.
No oak ageing
A beautiful colour with intense yellow and gold reflections, characteristically ‘grys’ in style. Aromas of summer fruits, peaches and honeyed melon, whilst on the palate there is depth, chalky minerality and brilliant freshness. A truly complex and fascinating wine which reflects equally the fruit and terroir.
Serve with pasta al aglio e olio, rice dishes with poultry, salted fish and grilled vegetables.
6 x 75cl