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The Modest Merchant

Wine Wednesday June 19th

We are very excited to once again welcome Alex Percy of The Modest Merchant through our Deptford doors. He will be hosting this week's Wine Wednesday with a selection of three wines from his portfolio; a free wine tasting for our customers from 7pm Wednesday 19th June.

It's always a good idea to book in advance: 0208 692 6614

Alex launched The Modest Merchant in late 2018 as an exciting, forward-thinking, young wine merchant specialising in original Old World wines. His portfolio is rooted in Spain, where he imports a number of small, sustainable producers offering wines that are exceptional value without compromising on quality or originality.

Here's what's in store this Wednesday:

Clos 93 L’Interrogant 2016

DOQ Priorat, Spain

Organic / Biodynamic / Wild yeasts / Vegan / Low Sulphur

Grape(s) 45% Garnacha, 45% Carignan, 10% Cabernet

Rich, dried fruit, concentrated

DOQ Priorat, is one of only two regions (along with DOCaRioja) that sit at a quality level above the rest of Spain, affording them much higher pricing and much more stringent quality control. As with much of Catalunya it’s mainstay grape is Garnacha (both Black & White) with 4 and 3 other international varietals allowed respectively. But it is Priorat’s heat and soil that truly distinguish it from it’s neighbours. Old bush vines, in poor steep rocky and black slate (licorella) soil offer small yields of powerful concentrated fruit as the vines struggle to find water. There is an aging system but it’s barely followed, with most wines spending 12-18 month in French oak and a year or two in bottle.

Clos 93, so called because it was the 93rd winery (or Clos) to register with the Consejo Regulador de Priorat, was created but 10 years ago by two brothers and an uncle; Rubén Sabaté (winemaker), Josep Sabaté and Pepo García, in who’s house and garage they make the wines. The grapes themselves come from vines in El Lloarwhere it is just one of two wineries. And whilst it may not be the newest winery it is officially regarded as Priorat’s smallest winery, producing just 12,500 bottles.

Winemaking: Minimal intervention winemaking, with organic treatments only in the vineyard. The grapes are destemmed, pressed softly, where spontaneous fermentation is allowed to take place. The wines are then bottled without fine filtering and with minimal added sulphites.

Tasting note: Powerful sweet fruit and jam on the nose. Rich, soft and concentrated with sweet and sour plums and currants. Chocolate, dates, smooth, rich and smooth. Toasty, dry finish. Clean fruit. Soft spice.

Pateiro V. de Guarda Saramusa2018

DO Ribeiro, Spain

Grape: Treixadura

Organic / Wild yeasts / Low Sulphur

Fresh, aromatic, grapefruit

Iván Vázquez Pateiro’s story is by no means unique to his generation. Coming from a long line of winegrowers he would watch and help his grandparents and parents tend their vines to sell to the local co-operative. Originally from Ribadavia, he has worked for many wineries, before moving some 20km up the river Avia to the town of Beade. Here, with his business partner, he bought a few acres of vines to start their own project, El Patito Feo and Saramusa! Using only indigenous varieties (Caiño, Souson and Treixadura) he makes a 100% Treixadura - something few other winemakers in the region are doing. Nostalgia aside he believes it is not about making the same wines your parents made, but rather to improve and advance them. 2018 is only his second vintage to date but already he is making some incredibly expressive and aromatic wines.

Winemaking: Organic viticulture without certification. Grapes come from 3 hectares of vines across two single vineyards, Espedradas and Forraxeiros, aged between 15-20 years old. No irrigation is used in the vineyards. Fermentation on wild yeasts followed by malolactic fermentation in SST. Aged on lees and then filtered.

Tasting note: Very aromatic and bright, almost candied nose of green apple, grapefruit and ripe melon. Textured and oily with mouth-coating glycerol. The finish is long and clean with ripe grapefruit all the way through and a bright lingering acidity.

La Vinyeta Heus* Blanc 2017

DO Emporda, Spain

Grape(s): 53% Macabeo, 20% Grenache, 15% Xarel-lo, 9% Muscat, 3% Malvasia

Organic / Vegan / Low Sulphur

Ripe, long, rich citrus

DO Emporda, is located in the very North-East corner of Catalunya and has around 2000 ha under vine. It is a non-continuous territory split between Alt-Emporda (which runs up to the foot of the Pyrenees and has slatey, granitic soil) and Baix-Emporda (which bulges into the med around the town of Figueres and has sandy-alluvial soils). However, perhaps the biggest influence on the vines, in which Carignan (Samsó), black and white Grenache and Cabernet dominate, is the powerful, cold Tramontana wind from the north. Reaching speeds of 120 kmph it is integral in keeping the vines fresh, reducing Mildew and making organic farming just that little bit easier.

La Vinyeta is a collection of small vineyards and olive groves in the heart of the Empordá, in an area called Molletde Peralada. A young, family owned business it began some 15 years ago when Josep Serra purchased two old Carignan and Grenache vineyards –aged 55 and 80 years old –and just kept on planting. The winery now stands at a reasonable 30 hectares. It was a few years later in 2006 that the winery was built and the first vintages of were made from over 10 varieties. In 2009 La Vinyeta became one of the first vineyards to adopt Integrated farming in the region which it has continued to develop and evolve over time.

Winemaking: Organic farming, converting to certified. Hand picked in small containers. Destemmed. Fermentation at 15ºC. Low pressing yield (50%).

Tasting note: Real pear drop nose. Rich citrus, and white fruit, fresh, ripe and bright. A touch floral. Medium bodied, pear, confit lemon, white spice. Long and juicy, lots of acidity. Xarel-lo limey end.

#winetasting #modestmerchant #spanishwine #wineandtapas #deptfordevents

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