VINOS PATIO - Mota del Cuervo, CASTILLA-LA MANCHA
Samuel Canos, the fourth generation of winemaker in his family, works 35 hectares of vines in rural La Mancha that have been passed down from his grandfather. It may seem like Samuel is running a pretty large-scale production but in fact he only uses 10% of grapes from the vineyard for his own production. The rest he sells on the cheap to the local organic co-op. For Samuel it’s much more about quality than quantity.
Samuel and his family have pretty consistently grown and vinified organically. No particular school or principle is followed; Samuel picks and chooses various methods that work for his vineyard. He mixes some biodynamic practice with common sense, science and a little bit of left field farm-ology. Where most growers spray their vineyards once a year with sulphur, Samuel opts instead for a cow’s milk solution, which he argues is equally effective in protecting against fungus and mildew.
Summers in La Mancha are dry and baking hot, yet the breeze from the east coupled with its relative elevation (700-800m above sea level) mean that whilst Samuel’s wines carry high sugar, they also have a definite structure and balance. Soil here is lime-carrying clay on a bed of limestone and the resulting wines are somewhat voluptuous yet still mineraly.
Famous for ageing all of his wines in square containers (he loves squares), Samuel is all for new and interesting ways of doing things. He uses the indigenous and out of fashion Airén grape from his grandfather’s 60 year old vines to make a 100-day skin contact white. The result, from such high skin contact on such a light coloured grape from old vines is fresh, and light with generous bright tannins and a lingering complexity- absolutely delicious.