Celler del Roure, Spain
Tucked behind the Serra Grossa, at the top of the Alrorins-Alcusses valley, is the rural idyl of Celler del Roure, an estate developed by Pablo Calatuyud and his father to shine a light on a more ancient and authentic style of Valencian wine and away from the bulk production the area was becoming more recognized for. His intention to rehabilitate long-forgotten grapes such as Mando, Arcos and Verdil was solidified with the discovery of a 500-year-old cellar on the mountainside property, with subterranean clay amphoras ‘tinajas’ in near perfect condition. Pablo describes the affinity of ancient grapes and amphora as nothing short of magical, ‘they need each other’ he explains. Looking across the landscape from the winery, you can’t but notice the higher exposed chalky white soils akin to albariza, whilst closer to the winery there is more sand both of which add delicacy and freshness to the wines. The altitude and the cooling east winds help maintain the acidity and freshness of the grapes, providing a remarkable location for vine cultivation in this warm Mediterranean region. The site also has deep historical significance, as archeologists have discovered evidence of a 4th century civilization on the site of Bastide de les Alcusses. The lasting impression of Celler del Roure is one of integration, into their landscape and history, producing relaxed, convincing wines with genuine excitement, pace and energy, that you just want to drink, share and go back for more.
Pablo has realised that these indigenous grapes are worth saving and, treated properly, can create wines of wonderful quality, freshness and concentration. Paying meticulous care in the vineyard and winery reduces the need for sulphur additions meaning his wines are verging on "natural".
Whilst in the cellar he makes use of Spanish amphorae called tinajas to ferment some of his wines to preserve their characteristic freshness and elegance creating pure and delicious wines with distinct flavours.
- Pablo is dedicated to the preservation of native ancient varieties Verdil, Mando and Arcos, producing beautifully integrated wines with conviction.
- Unrelenting attention to their vineyards, in their high altitude old vine plantings on chalky, sandy soils, cultivated organically with some biodynamic practices.
- Gentle elaborations, using amphorae to maintain freshness, with vineyard and winery practices reducing the need for sulphur. Indigenous yeasts, low intervention and rediscovering the ways of the past.