White wine Young. Winery: Javier Sanz. D.O. Rueda. (Castilla y León) Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
White wine Young. Winery: Javier Sanz. D.O. Rueda. (Castilla y León) Variety: Verdejo
D.O.: D.O. Rueda
The tradition of the Sanz family in the world of wine goes back four generations when Agustín Nanclares began to grow grapes on his property Villa Narcisa, in La Seca (Valladolid). He sold his production to other winemakers. This tradition was kept over the years, until in 1990, Javier Sanz Cantalapìedra, the great-grandson of Agustín Nanclares, founded the first winery to produce wines, which he sold in bulk. However, in 1995 he equipped a new winery to improve the operability and technical means, and to commercialise his own wines. This meant the creation of the old brands Villa Narcisa and Rey Santo. A modern winemaking process was born, managing to faithfully preserve all this family philosophy of winemaking with a perfect harmony between tradition and modernity.
However, over the years, Javier Sanz has developed a meticulous and rigorous work on the lands to achieve grapes with the best quality, and to apply the minimum possible intervention in the production process of their wines. This lead to a complete renovation of its wines and the creation of others with a style that is as different as personal.
History of the winery
The winery Javier Sanz Viticultor is located in La Seca, in the heart of Denomination of Origin Rueda. The geographical location of the winery and its vineyards is essential to understand the quality of its wines. The winery has 104 hectares of its own cultivated vineyards, 14 of red grapes planted in vase shape in 1975, with a low yield of 4,000 kilos per hectare. The surface of the vineyard is comprised of sand and boulders, and the subsoil by a clayey layer, which favours the aeration and natural drainage of the vineyards. These unique features found in the village of La Seca, alongside the microclimate of the area, are the ones that differentiate their wines from other Verdejo wines from D.O. Rueda. The Technical Management of the winery is run by Santiago de Iscar, responsible for the wines obtained from its vineyards, some of them pre-phylloxera, such as El Pago de Saltamontes. It was planted in 1863, and it has a certification stating that is has surpassed 150 years. They also have other vineyards with an average age of over 30 years. Their strategy for more than 20 years has been to work on genetic differentiation with the selection of the best vines and to maintain, at all times, this genetic diversity in its own vineyards. They have also advocated for the conservation of the old vineyards of native varieties and the recovery of other varieties that were almost extinct. The proximity of the winery to the vineyards, located on the first banks of Ribera del Duero, makes it easier to transfer the grapes after the harvest almost immediately. It takes them a maximum of four hours, which preserves all their properties and aromas. Knowledge and know-how are the main assets of this winery, which takes great care of the whole production process of their wines.
The winery of Javier Sanz also has an interesting wine tourism centre, where they have renovated the old family house and the old winery as a reception centre and museum. There you can learn first hand about the traditional methods and production processes, and of course, you can taste all the wines from the winery.
In addition to the national market, which accounts for 70% of sales, Javier Sanz Viticultor has been positioned in international markets, and is present in most of Europe, America and Asia, among others.
A large part of the work philosophy of Javier Sanz is focused on the vineyard, its best asset. The vineyards of Javier Sanz are distributed in a mosaic of plots, holdings and farms, all in the municipality of La Seca, in Valladolid, at an altitude of 700 metres. Their main variety is the Verdejo, native of Rueda, to which Javier Sanz Viticultor has added other varieties thanks to an intense investigation and recovery. One of the varieties in disuse was the Verdejo Malcorta; the difficulty of its harvest led it to fall into oblivion. Nowadays, Verdejo Malcorta is a native clone, with very woody branches. It was very badly cut —hence its name "mal-corta", in Spanish— and it also provided a lower yield than the conventional Verdejo. In one of his vineyards, Javier Sanz, kept several strains of this clone and a few years ago he decided to breed them and test then to achieve a Verdejo unlike any other in the market. The results were so good that he began to graft new plantations until he managed to propagate the Verdejo Malcorta in 5 hectares, reaching an initial production of 10,000 bottles that were launched on the market after a long process of investigation, and a lot of microvinifications for more than seven years.
In 1863, the family vineyard of El Pago de Saltamontes was registered for the first time. It had 2.27 hectares, which survived the phylloxera. However, among the century-old Verdejo vines is an unusual red strain, of unique and unknown genetics, which Javier calls Colorado. From this variety, he makes his red wine, VColorado.
Wines from Javier Sanz Viticultor
The particular way of understanding the viticulture of Javier Sanz Viticultor is translated into exclusive wines, with personality, and the purpose of which is to link quality with their own surprising designer style. Their wines sum up the family winemaking tradition, the new advances in oenology and a special relationship between the winegrower and the vine. Currently, they make eight wines distributed in two lines: Javier Sanz Viticultor and Colección V, with signature wines. The following are Javier Sanz wines:
Javier Sanz Verdejo is a varietal wine that comes from the oldest vineyards of La Seca. They are the result of the personal selection of Javier Sanz. This farm has 45 hectares of vineyards that are over 40 years old. Here, the harvest is carried out mechanically and at night, and they use a destemming machine at the optimum ripening point. During the fermentation process, they follow a strict control of the temperature to preserve the aromatic features of this wine to the maximum extent. Cold maceration, must that has been clarified by gravity for one day and aged with its own lees for months before it is bottled. Its fresh aromas are reminiscent of sweet grapefruit and pineapple, and they show slight notes of aniseed and fennel.
Javier Sanz Sauvignon Blanc is a single-variety of Sauvignon Blanc that was brought to the area more than 40 years ago from France. The vines are located in the Paraje del Camino Real and due to their features, both the kind of bunches and the vine, they adapted exceptionally to the stony terroirs. The harvest is performed mechanically, at night and using an integrated destemming machine at the optimum ripening point. The production is meticulous, with cold maceration, and must clarified by gravity for a day. The fermentation is carried out at a temperature below 15ºC in stainless steel deposits. It offers the characteristic varietal aromas like lime, grass and white flowers. It also shows us notes of tropical fruit, like pineapple and passion fruit. In the mouth, it shows an acidity that increases the sensation of freshness and marks its citrus and tropical flavours.
Javier Sanz Verdejo Fermentado en Barrica is exclusively made from a carefully selected Verdejo that comes from our farm Fuente de los Vaqueros in La Seca, which is 50 years old. The harvest is performed mechanically and at night to maintain the temperature. The fermentation takes place in French oak barrels, where the wine remains for six months. Then, it is transferred to the bottle, where it remains at least another 12 months. On the nose it is elegant. It has aromas of hay, ripe fruit, flowers and dry land. Well-integrated wood from the barrel, with nuances of fruit that are reminiscent of peach, nectarine and dried apricots. In the mouth it is broad, tasty, unctuous. The minerals, the barrel and a small amount of residual sugar are quite accentuated on the palate, leaving a very pleasant mid-palate, with refreshing herbaceous notes and citrus hints.
Javier Sanz Semidulce is made from Verdejo grapes, from the family vineyards that are over 15 years old, located in La Seca. Pre-fermentation maceration and alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature below 15 degrees. The natural sugars of the grape are maintained by halting the fermentation in a controlled way. This way they achieve the right balance of sugar and acidity, which is so characteristic of this wine.
Soft, easy to drink and refreshing at the same time. Very pleasant in the mouth, with a slight sweetness and grape flavours, combined with a smooth and balanced acidity.
VMalcorta is made from Verdejo Malcorta that is 7 years old, and they only produce 8,000 bottles. The fermentation takes place at a temperature below 15 degrees. This slows down the process and preserves the fruity aromas of the variety to the maximum extent. On the nose, it has very clean and intense aromas. Aromas of citrus, white flowers, and stone fruit stand out, with soft mineral notes. In the mouth, its marked acidity stands out, accentuating its fresh and lively character, with great persistence.
V1863 Sobre Lías is made from grapes of Pago de Saltamontes, registered in 1863. It is a pre-phylloxera vineyard that is over 150 years old. The production of this wine is limited to around 3,000 bottles, depending on the vintage. This special wine remains on its lees for four months. On the nose it reminds us of candied orange peel, bread dough, with nuances of fennel and aromatic herbs. It is exceptionally soft and creamy on the palate, with a moderate acidity and a long and pleasant finish. Its ageing on lees gives this wine an exquisite creaminess and a soft sensation in the mouth.
VColorado is the only red of the winery that is made with vines that Javier Sanz discovered in El Pago de Saltamontes. He called the variety Colorado. Colorado is a genuine variety because of its ampeology. It is also a plant with great vigour, with high-quality but low yield. Therefore, it requires continuous care in the vineyard.
After years of grafting to reproduce the only original plant of this extinct variety, the colorado settled in the family vineyards of La Seca. This variety, with a late ripening, is harvested by hand with selection of bunches in the vineyard. The harvested grapes, once they are destemmed, are transferred to a French oak barrel with a dismantled bottom. Here, they will go through the alcoholic fermentation with daily punch-downs. Then, the paste is gently pressed, the barrel is reassembled and the wine is introduced. Here, it will go through the malolactic fermentation. After ten months in the barrel, the wine is filtered and bottled. Then, it is aged in the bottle for at least ten months. On the nose, it is a complex wine that evolves showing a great aromatic diversity. With spices and balsamic, it offers notes of undergrowth, always with a clear background of fruit (blackberries, raspberries and plums). It is surprising thanks to its great personality and the amplitude of its aromatic notes. In the mouth it is tasty fresh, with a pleasant acidity. Above all, it stands out for its nice aftertaste and its extraordinary persistence.
VDulce de Invierno is born from a coupage of Verdejo and Muscatel. Its sweetness and its amber tones are the result of three stages of a complex production: the freezing of the grape, the natural drying process in a shady area, and the late harvest. After this challenging process, the wine rests in French oak barrels for eight months. On the nose, it reflects an incredible variety of aromas of dried apricots, figs, and orange peel. In the mouth it is definitely sweet, with an ample and silky body that covers the palate with sweetness and an elegant and balanced acidity. With a subtle nuance of wood.