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 of 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
2015 Noble Cru - Solar Fortún
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
One of the few wines in the Solar Fortún line up that is aged exclusively in French oak, and one of only 2 blends that will be made going forward, the Noble Cru is always a favorite. In 2015 the fruit reaches out at you a little more aggressively than in the previous vintage, and as with all of this young estate's wines each successive vintage gains considerably on the one before it. This may be due in part to the maturation of the vines but is mostly on account of winemaker Santiago Lopez's insatiable appetite for learning and capacious ability to do so. In Santiago's hands, the organically farmed vineyards of this estate are delivering some of the most interesting wines of the Valle and will continue to so on a parabolic curve.
Drinking window: Now - 10 years
30% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot
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.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks for 2 weeks and then racked to French oak barrels and aged for 12 months.
Sulfites: 30 ppm