The Solar Fortún Estate:
- Solar Fortún is a family owned and operated winery that was officially established in 2010 and planted 3 years prior in 2007. Coming from a background in theoretical and natural physics, (both of Santiago's parents are professors of physics at the university in Ensenada), the plan for this estate was methodical and precise, with no consideration left unattended.
- Fully sustainable, (and idyllic to the point of being completely transportive) the only non-renewable resource they use in their operation is the fuel that runs their tractor. As the harvests, and almost all the work in the vineyards is done by hand, it doesn't get used much!
- All grapes are estate grown in an organically farmed vineyard site at 1,100 ft elevation in the northern most section of the valley, approximately 15 miles from the Pacific in a part of the valley called Francisco Zarco. The confining walls are so tight at this point that they create more of a canyon than a valley. This creates a unique micro-climate where the temperature differential between the mountainsides and the valley floor generates a nearly constant breeze eliminating the risk of cluster rot or powdery mildew. This cooler climate also plays a role in the high natural acidity of these wines and their very prevalent floral components.
Total production: 18.5 acres under vine, 10 wines, 3,000 cases
2018 O Positivo - Solar Fortún
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
The 2018 vintage was hot and dry and required some creative strategies to keep from burning up your fruit, but if you managed to navigate it well, you ended up with reds that sing like the 2018's from Solar Fortún, which across the board are excellent - enter their 2018 O Positivo. Considered by many to be the estates premium wine, 2018 casts a strong vote in this direction. Full-bodied and packed with luscious fruit expression and layered complexity of baking spices and floral notes, it manages to keep this truckload aloft on a matrix of balanced acidity that is woven throughout. As with the rest of the 2018's, the oak was well integrated upon release, and this balance like the balance throughout the rest of the wine will carry it well through the next decade.
Drinking window: Now - 10 years
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah
Santiago Lopez - Mexican
Valle de Guadalupe, ejido de Francisco Zarco - Estate vineyards in a tight valley with sandy soils of decomposed sandstone and some red clay. Vines were planted in 2007 and the elevation is 1,100 ft.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks for 2 weeks and then racked to American oak barrels and aged for 12 months.
Sulfites: 30 ppm