Pepe Mendoza, Pureza Moscatel, DO Vinos Alicante, Spain, 2022
Pepe Mendoza is one of the most respected winemakers in southeast Spain, focusing on local and Mediterranean varieties, sourced from their own vineyards in the Alto Vinalopó region near Villena, and the coastal-influenced Marina Alta.
His latest project, Casa Agrícola is a personal project, created with his wife Pepa Agulló, to make high-quality wines from Monastrell, Syrah, Macabeo, Moscatel and Giró. With plantings dating back to 1923, vineyards are organically cultivated, dry-farmed on ancient terraces, and in tune with the climate of Alicante. Pepe refers to his entry levels wines as ‘landscape wines’, the white a delicious blend of Macabeo and Airen from Vinalopó, and Moscatel from Marina Alta, whilst the red is equal parts Monastrell, Giró and Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) from Alto Vinalopó. Pureza is skin contact Moscatel fermented in amphorae. With the pinnacle of the range, two single vineyard wines, El Veneno, a stunningly fresh expression of Monastrell sourced from the highest plots in Alto Vinalopó, and Abarques, which reflects the character of Giró and the Marina Alta location.
A wine of great authenticity, strength and purity reminiscent of the old 'Brisat' whites made in this area, a style we now refer to as skin contact or orange wines. The vineyards are at Benimei, Pla de Lliber, 300 meters above sea level and were planted in 1943. Clonal selections are Clon Glos and vineyards are dry-farmed in the traditional goblet style. Farmed organically although not certified from ferrous clay soils with calcareous stones.
Vinification is carried out in an artisanal fashion, where there is contact with the must and skins fermenting with their own indigenous yeasts for 8-10 days. There is no acidity correction, no settling, and no use of enzymes. Macerated 2-3 times a day with gentle punch downs. The wine is fermented in amphorae made by Juan Padilla of 220, 250 and 350 litres.
No oak ageing
A wine reminiscent of freshly cut roses, jasmine and orange blossom. On the palate it’s broad and deliciously textured, yet balanced with beautiful acidity that gives an upright freshness, and saline notes that remind us of its coastal location.
An incredible pairing with soft cheeses. Also great with Mediterranean fish, red tuna, seafood, vegetable or seafood paellas, or roast white meats.
Guia Penin 93 Points
6 x 75cl