It seems paradigmatic that the magic of wine would reside in the solitude of its one ingredient—the grape. Something that has existed for thousands of years takes on exciting, cultural, and sensory facets. And it is always different, depending on the vintage.
Perhaps it is the very diversity of each variety's organoleptic profile that maintains our passion and fuels our curiosity. Or perhaps it is the unpredictable nature of inclement weather, which hangs over every harvest like the sword of Damocles for those who measure the passage of time in vintages.
The vintage: bottled time
Both ageworthy wines crafted over several years and young ones made in just a few months depend on a good year, climatically speaking. Maturity and youth may express themselves differently, but they both tell us about the vintage, a bit of bottled time. It is a captured moment that lives on; an expression of the earth and weather during a specific and unique period of time.
Although all varieties can be oak aged to a greater or lesser degree and may benefit from the reductive process of bottle aging, maturity does not favor them all equally. Some do better without accessories so they can reveal their unembellished personality and identity. The essence of these varieties resides in their freshness, their frugal aromatic profile, and their backbone of crisp acidity.
Creamy leek and potato soup with cod confit and ham, paired with Camino de Magarín at Masía Mas Rabell Restaurant
The Verdejo of Camino de Magarín (DO Rueda) grows in pebbly soils irrigated by the Duero River and shows us the path toward simplicity, baring its green apple soul in a vision of brilliant, limpid gold.
It is a metaphor of sorts that brings to mind something Picasso once said: “I needed a lifetime to learn how to paint like a child.” When the variety speaks for itself, less is more.
The winemaker's intention
Recognizing the potential of Chardonnay in the organoleptic complexity of Milmanda; understanding what the variety has to offer in its youthful and mature incarnations, and how to master varietal entropy until a noticeable body emerges: this is the experience, the echoes, of a legacy that is born of the earth and matures in the winery.
Tomatoes from the Maresme coast with thinly sliced cod find their match in Milmanda. A suggested food and wine pairing from La Vinoteca Torres.
The passage of time is part of the charm of Milmanda (DO Conca de Barberà), transforming a permanent image—the vintage—into a new canvas where the winemaker adds finishing touches in oak and glass.
When deciding how long to age a wine, listen to the earth: nature speaks to us.