Juan Antonio is no longer a promising winemaker he has established himself as a leading figure in biodynamic and natural winemaking in his native Cuenca. After working with Telmo Rodríguez and Pablo Eguzkiza in their various Spanish projects, Juan Antonio spent time in France learning about biodynamics and how he could apply those techniques to his own vineyards in Manchuela. 10 years on, he is making better wines than ever and they are, deservedly, getting worldwide recognition by customers and critics alike.
His vineyards are at an elevation between 700 and 800 metres above sea level on a combination of soils: clay, limestone and sandstone. All his vines are between 30 and 90 years old, and some of them are still planted on their own rootstocks. Sulphur treatments in the vineyard are kept to a minimum, relying entirely on biodynamic preparations to fight seasonal adversities. In the winery, his ethos is to let the wine make itself. The bunches are not destemmed and semi-carbonic maceration occurs in the tank. Full alcoholic fermentation takes place with wild yeasts. The resulting wines are neither filtered nor fined and sulphur is avoided.
All the wines are fermented and aged in neutral oak to let each parcel reflect its own personality.
'For the only white produced here, whose current vintage is the 2019 Reto, they want dry weather before and during the harvest, as they don't macerate the skins and do a direct pressing, so they want the grapes to be concentrated and dry. It fermented in 600-liter barrels and a 1,500-liter foudre with indigenous yeasts and was kept with lees for seven months. As I saw in other wines from 2019, this is a little more expressive than other years, more approachable and possibly easier to understand. It was harvested around the 15th of August, more normal dates than, for example, 2018, which was extremely early. It has the signature tasty and saline character of the grape, supple and long, still austere and sharp, especially given the zone and the year. 15,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2020.' 93+pts, Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker, drink 2020-2024
'This has a pale lemon yellow colour with oily tears. On the nose there is delicate yellow apple and peach along with subtle spices of bayleaf and a fennel seed aromatic; dry and medium-bodied on the palate with good acidity, this has a light lees texture, cinnamon vanilla, nutmeg, coconut, lots of oak layers deliciously integrated along with pear and yellow fruit to finish. Serve in a Burgundy glass for full pleasure, this is of excellent value!' Anja Breit, Philglas & Swiggot