César, Silvia, Rebeca and Nacho are behind this small project launched with the 2012 vintage. As well as friends, they are colleagues at wine merchant Alma Vinos and La Tintorería wine store in Madrid. In their opinion, Sierra de Salamanca and its indigenous red grape Rufete provide the perfect mix to make the Burgundy-style reds they love to drink.
Unlike other producers in the area who also grow Tempranillo, they have bet only on Rufete. Grapes are sourced from traditional vineyards with vines grown in terraces or occasionally mixed with other crops. They have also started to explore the distinctive features of different villages in the area.
Tragaldabas (7,000 bottles in the 2015 vintage, €16) was the first wine to reach the market. It was named after the large puppet from an old popular children’s tale which used to tour around the villages of Castilla y León for the local festivals (in English, glutton). It also evokes the easy-to-drink quality that they want to achieve in their wines. Grapes are sourced from three different villages (Garcibuey, Miranda del Castañar and Molinillo) representing three types of soils: granitic, schist and the extremely hard and black corneal slate. Fermentation, including a small percentage of whole bunches, takes place in wooden vats as well as the aging. This wine spends one winter in the cellar and is usually released at the end of the summer.
Molinillo (only 1,000 bottles) is the first village wine from Mandrágora focusing on the corneal stale soils of this remote village. It is aged in barrel and spends two winters in the cellar. A second village wine is also under way.