22 May Clunia Albillo 2017, first white wine from Clunia
May 17th, 2018. Clunia launches its first white wine.
The Clunia project began in 1999, based on red grape varieties like the native Tempranillo, as well as Syrah and more recently Malbec, which were found to adapt perfectly to the local terroir. What white grape to plant that would match the criteria of a unique character in harmony with the local terroir has now been resolved. After much thought and investigation, the white grape chosen was Albillo.
Albillo is an indigenous white grape that for centuries had been grown in the area, but has been almost lost after general uprooting during decades for the more fashionable red varieties. Lately, a handful of local wineries have decided to rescue this cepage from oblivion, and Clunia is one of them.
Albillo adapts perfectly to the harsh conditions prevalent in the Clunia vineyards. The three-hectare Finca Bocigas plot planted with the Clunia Albillo vines provides high altitude (almost 1,000 m….) poor soils and an extreme climate that make for a difficult
environment for most grape varieties, but Albillo is one that delivers excellent quality and unique character under the circumstances.
Only 4,000 bottles have been produced of this unique white wine, given the very low yields the vineyard provides. The winemaking helps the vines show their intense, concentrated character to best effect. After fermentation, the wine is kept for five months in 500 L. French oak barrels to integrate the brilliant acidity and add complexity to the fresh fruit character the wine delivers.
Clunia Albillo is shaped by the stark limy and sandy soils, and the harsh winters that precede the hot summers in the area. The bouquet of white flowers, grapefruit and apricots, replicated in the mouthfeel are helped by a subtle minerality that integrates the oak character beautifully. The long, lingering finish speaks of the quality and unique character of this white from an almost extinct cepage, that will enthuse any wine lover.
Clunia Albillo is truly a terroir wine. Enjoy this rare cepage if you’re quick to get your hands on one of the few bottles released.