The Viñas del Tigre Estate
- Founded in 2006 by the Quesada Lucero family this is one of the gems of the world of wine. They produce very small batch wines and distilled spirits that are so unique to be like painting with new colors on the palate. The winery is now run and farmed by winemaker Aldo Lucero.
- The winery and their vineyards are located in Valle del Tigre approximately 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean. All red grapes are sourced from their estate vineyards. The Colombard grapes for their Burro Choyero are sourced from an organic dry farmed vineyard with 80 + year old vines that lies on the southwestern end of Valle de Guadalupe in the Ejido of San Antonio de las Minas.
- Vineyard elevations and grape origins:
Valle del Tigre – Estate vineyards planted in 2006 at an elevation of 850 ft - (Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Merlot, Malbec, Mission, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Muscato). This is a winery unto itself in a valley that runs almost parallel to the Pacific, lying just beyond the first ridgeline that separates the land from the ocean. Soil is a combination of clay, sand and river rocks and a substantial amount of organic matter. The tenderness and wholeness with which Aldo tends to this estate cannot be condensed into words on a screen but suffice it to say that if there is a spiritual version of farming, this is it.
Valle de Guadalupe – A forgotten parcel of the Magoni Ranch planted in the 1940s at an elevation of 1150 ft. (Colombard) This vineyard was essentially abandoned before Aldo started tending to it in 2019. Forlorn and wild, this parcel is dry farmed and organic by default. Soil is a combination of clay and granite.
- When asked to summarize the ethos of his estate Aldo says, “Love, respect and care for the environment that drives a constant seeking for sustainability and dictates that their production will always remain small without the use of chemicals of any kind.
- A farmer by trade Aldo considers his principal task to care and nurture the soil, stating that it is the soil that takes care of the plant – as long as you care for the soil, the plant will be taken care of.
- Aldo is the kind of person in whom there is no fine line between everyday living and a “spiritual” life and everything he does is imbued with a consciousness of the global intentions he has in mind. He believes this has an enormous effect on everything from the compost he makes on site to the way the fermentations progress in his wines and when you taste what he creates it’s hard not to admit they seem imbued with an energy unlike almost anything you’ve ever tasted before. Regardless, of the source of this difference, while the wines from this estate will never be easy to find, experiencing them will always be a gift.
Total production: 3 wines, 330 cases
2021 Vaca Choyera - Viñas del Tigre
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
Made at the hands of one who is a master of patience and listening, the Vaca Choyera is another wine set to redefine expectations of this Natural style in Baja. While the buzzword “natural” is on nearly everyone’s lips, few are coming anywhere close to what Aldo is achieving. Essentially a field blend, this wine is made from the harvest of a single vineyard that was planted with 10 different varieties of grapes (2 white and 8 red). Each variety was harvested by hand and fermented separately so there was total control when it came time to blend. While for a 70 case production this amount of work seems like a fairytale to most, for Aldo it’s an obvious way of doing something when the only objective is for the outcome to be perfect. Bright and fresh as the best of Beaujolais, this wine sings on the nose and even more so in the mouth. While the tannins on the finish suggest it has years of beautiful evolution ahead of it, I’ll be shocked if there’s a bottle remaining by the end of 2023.
70 cases made (15 allocated to the US)
Drinking Window: upon release – 6 years
30% tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 20% Mission, 30% 7 other varities
Viñas del Tigre
Aldo C. Quesada Lucero - Mexican
Valle del Tigre – Estate vineyards planted in 2006. This is a winery unto itself in a valley that runs almost parallel to the Pacific, lying just beyond the first ridgeline that separates the land from the ocean. Soil is a combination of clay, sand and river rocks and a substantial amount of organic matter. The tenderness and wholeness with which Aldo tends to this estate cannot be condensed into words on a screen but suffice it to say that if there is a spiritual version of farming, this is it.
Grapes were harvested on the 4th of September, pressed and left to ferment in stainless steel tanks for 12-18 days (depending on the variety). Once fermentations were complete, the wine was blended and left to rest in a stainless steel tank for 6 months before bottling.
Like all wines from Vinos del Tigre, the fermentation was carried out with native yeast, never received corrections of any kind, was not fined or filtered, and never saw sulfites at any point in the process.
Sulfites: No sulfites added