This winery, located in Tierra de Barros in Extremadura, is the result of a partnership between the Losada Serra family, owners of a big agricultural holding in the area, and the Alvear family, who has been producing wine in Montilla-Moriles since the 18th century. Wines are made under the DO Ribera del Guadiana and VT Extremadura category.
Vineyards were planted between 2001 and 2003 mostly with tempranillo, some foreign grapes like syrah or cabernet sauvignon, and local varieties grown on both sides of the border with Portugal. There are approximately 92 hectares of vines grown on a chalky bed rock 1.5m deep with red clay on the surface, some sandy plots and chalky outcrops on higher areas. The gently undulating terrain brings many different sun exposures.
Between 2010 and 2019, the Envínate team formed by Alfonso Torrente, José Martínez, Laura Ramos and Roberto Santana were in charge of winemaking. These maverick oenologists have also been behind the wines of Suertes del Marqués in Tenerife, Bodegas Almanseñas in Almansa and developed the Tres Miradas range for Alvear in Montilla-Moriles. They fostereed long-cycle, well-adapted grape varieties which can cope well with the area’s high temperatures and may bring some freshness to the wines. Along with Alicante Bouschet and Graciano, Portugal’s Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional were favoured. Luis Lopes, a Portuguese winemaker with extensive experience in the region of Dão, is the new consultant since 2019.
Wine making techniques include the use of indigenous yeasts, occasionally whole bunch fermentation, and the use of 500l. casks or even large foudres for aging wines. Concrete is also being introduced for both fermentation and aging.
The wines that reflect particularly well the new style of fruit-driven, aromatic, fresh reds include La Zarcita (€11 in Spain), named after a stream crossing the farm, and the single-vineyard Los Acilates (around €16). Both of them are sold under the VT Extremadura category in Burgundy-shaped bottles. The last addition to the range is La Raya (€19 in Spain), a blend of Trincadeira Preta with some Alicante Bouschet and Syrah. The wine is named after the word (the line) locals use to refer to the bordering area separating Spain and Portugal. Geographical barriers are non-existent here, so it made sense to grow varieties from the other side of the border, even more so if it results in fresher, more expressive wines.
The classic range includes young Tempranillo PQ Primicia (€5.5, 70,000 bottles); Palacio Quemado Crianza (around €6, 300,000 bottles), a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet; and Palacio Quemado Reserva (€10 in Spain, 13,000 bottles) which blends Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them are labelled as DO Ribera del Guadiana in Bordeaux-shaped bottles.
Wine tours and tastings are available by appointment. All the wines can be bought at Alvear’s online store.