The Vinisterra Estate:
The wines of Vinisterra are imbued with the spirit of intention from man, but the front-and-center show is the land and the vines and, of course, their fruit. Top to bottom, the wines in their line up are fastidiously made and completely oriented towards pure representation of place.
All grapes are estate grown in two vineyard sites: one adjacent to their winery in the ejido of San Antonio de las Minas in Valle de Guadalupe and the other in the Valle de San Vicente further south. Both vineyards are organically farmed.
Christoph, a winemaker who is constantly trying to peel back the layers of himself from the wines in an effort to let the character of the soil, sun, and plants speak more clearly, made the bold decision to not have any of the large granite boulders, (common in the area) removed from the vineyard when he first planted it. Some of the boulders on site are twice the size of cars, and, in addition to making the vineyard impossible to manage with any mechanized devices, creates a complexity of micro climates that results in the need to make many passes during harvest.
Total production: 22.5 acres under vine, 8 wines, 4,000 cases
2017 Domino Tinto - Vinisterra
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
Vinisterra brands this wine one "for a life without worries" but it can also be said that it's a useful tool for life's inevitable twists and turns. The 2017, like its predecessors is a wine that deliveries all of the fun loving balance of a simple wine yet with layers of sophistication to boot. Unlike may wines whose alcohol levels are rising along with their palate fatiguing “jamminess” Vinisterra is taking its production in the other direction with this vintage coming in for the first time under 14%. In the warm climate of Valle de Santo Tomás, it’s no small feat to achieve phenolic ripeness but keep the acid in balance at the same time. This vintage shows that it can be done and done to great effect.
Medium bodied, extremely elegant in the mouth and with less Grenache than its forebears, this is a wine that is well poised for consumption upon release and in the near future.
1,000 cases made
Drinking window: Now - 4 years
44% Grenache, 29% Tempranillo, 19% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah
Christoph Gartner - Swiss born, now a Mexican citizen.
Valle de Santo Tomas - Estate vineyard "Rancho Cascabel" lies at an elevation of 900 ft and is composed of sandy soils high in minerals. Planted in 2005, the vines have some decent age on them. The site is about as wild as it gets too; no running water, no roads or houses of any kind nearby - just vines and "cascabel" or rattlesnakes. The vineyard, like all of those owned by Vinisterra are farmed organically.
Santo Tomas is often warmer than the other valleys, and in this vintage the harvest was at the end of July. Grapes were picked by hand, sorted, pressed and fermented individually in stainless steel tanks for 7 to 9 days depending on varietal. Once fermentation is complete the wine was racked to 2nd and 3rd use French oak barrels and aged for 16 months.
Sulfites: 45 ppm