After Bodegas Frontonio in Valdejalón, this is the second joint project of Fernando Mora MW and winemaker Mario López in Aragón. Launched in 2015 in partnership with Santo Cristo Cooperative in DO Campo de Borja, where López then worked as technical director, they moved to DO Calatayud in 2020. At the new location, the duo replicated the model but this time they teamed up with Bodegas San Alejandro.
Behind this unusual move lies an obsessive search for freshness in their Garnacha-driven wines. The mountainous orography of Calatayud means higher elevation (up to 900m) and more favourable exposures. Other prized features include slate soils, hillsides and old vineyards where Garnacha is often found alongside other grape varieties. Right now, the focus is on the villages of Alarba, Acered and Murero.
Ultimately, the duo want to recover and show the world some of the most distinctive, dry-farmed, old bush Garnacha vineyards in Calatayud.
Winemaking follows the Frontonio style: hand-harvesting, treading, spontaneous fermentation with varying amounts of whole bunches and a firm will to preserve the fruit using concrete, wood and stoneware ceramic containers.
The labels have been fully redesigned so consumers will be able to easily tell the wines made in Campo de Borja from the new Calatayud range while both of them coexist in the market.
The range of wines remains virtually unchanged. It starts with Cuevas de Arom (10,000 bottles), a village wine which now includes the words “Altas Parcelas” (elevated plots) to highlight altitude as a key factor. It is fermented and aged in concrete. One step above, As Ladeiras (8,000 bottles, their very own premier cru) is aged in concrete and a 30hl Austrian foudre. The two top single-vineyard reds also retain their former names: Os Cantals (3,200 bottles) and Tuca Negra (300 bottles). Os Cantals is sourced from a plot grown on stony and slate soils at 700m+ elevation and is aged in concrete tanks while Tuca Negra looks for maximum freshness. The plot lies at over 850m elevation on a north-facing hillside on slate-quartzite soils. The wine is fermented with whole bunches and is aged in stoneware ceramic containers.