Rufete, the indigenous variant of northwestern Spain, is known as Tinta Pinheira in Portugal and is frequently used in port blends.
In Spain, the rufete vineyards are almost all located in Sierra de Salamanca. Difficult to describe, it is a grape whose aromatic profile is similar to pinot on steroids (!) because of its finesse, its delicate floral notes and its rather earthy or mineral character that will depend on the type of soil on which it grows.
The vines grown by David and Melanie are located on acid soils which differ greatly from the alkaline clay-limestone soils of Rioja, also known for their water retention. Over 80% of the vines they cultivate are at least 50 years old.
The Phinca Encanto 2015 cuvée, still available in small quantities, was produced according to the usual non-interventionist methods of Bodegas Bhilar, namely manual harvesting, destemming above an open oak vat of 500 liters, then foot-trodden to start fermentation with indigenous yeasts. The wine is racked about 15 days after the start of fermentation, then aged for 30 months in neutral French oak barrels allowing the malolactic fermentation to take place naturally.
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