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
2016 Cascabel - Vinisterra
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
Composed of a blend that always puzzles the experienced winemaker who is new to wines of Baja's northern viticultural region, the 2016 Cascabel delivers to drinkers yet another monumental wine. The name translates to Rattlesnake in English and indeed there is little other than snakes, vines, rugged terrain and the occasional call of a red-tailed hawk in the isolated patch of land from where this wine comes. True to its namesake and thanks mainly to the high percentage of Tempranillo in the blend, (which is even higher this year than in years previous) this wine weds amplitude, intensity, and balance in a way that few wines can. The structure is here for long term aging but like almost all wines from this region that can age well, manage to be so intriguing in their youth that they rarely escape being consumed in their youth. If it’s possible, hold back a bottle or two for consumption in 10 years. As for the rest, well, have at it!
400 cases made
Drinking window: Upon release (45 minute decant) - 15 years
75% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache
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.
Pressed juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks over a period of 10 days and then racked to French oak barrels, (50% new) and aged for 18 months.
Sulfites: 30 ppm