Jose Antonio García and his wife Julia Peña García (JAG) are at the forefront of the next generation of vignerons in Bierzo, leading the charge towards wines of place and definition. Their familial roots in Bierzo are fundamental to them, as they do all of the work in the vineyards themselves, which is signified by the term viticultor on their bottles. Jose’s mother is a native of Valtuille de Abajo, and his father is a native of Corullón. Together, Jose and Julia’s families have owned vineyards in Bierzo for generations. All of their wines are hand-harvested, foot-crushed, and vinified very carefully with native fermentation and without manipulation.
Cuvée Julia is a lively, vin de soif style Bierzo that offers an antidote to overblown, internationally-styled wines previously made in the region. Jose and Julia’s minerality-driven Cuvée Julia utilizes the tradition of co-fermentation in the Bierzo region while pushing the envelope of freshness and vibrancy.
Cuvée Julia comes from an organically-farmed single parcel located on an east-facing slope in the heart of Valtuille de Abajo, where the upper part is sandy, the middle is slate, and the lower part is clay with decomposed organic matter. The plot was co-planted in 1920 with traditional bush vines of indigenous mencía, alicante bouschet, merenzao, godello, doña blanca, palomino, and malvasia.
Jose and Julia’s organically-grown, family-owned vineyards in the village of Valtuille de Abajo are planted from 500m to 650m elevation, with 60 to 100-year-old traditional bush vines from ancient genetic ancestry. Some of these vines are more than 200 years old. The viticulture is strictly organic, and the only compost used is local, organic chestnuts, which grow in the vineyards. Wines are made with low intervention and minimal sulfur at bottling.
Cuvée Julia is an energetic, light red with a very light color and intense perfume of strawberry, raspberry, and currant on the nose. The palate is fresh and elegant, with vibrant, refreshing acidity and a savory, balsamic finish. It has a medium-bodied palate with velvety tannins and delicious, savory fruit. Incredibly drinkable.
Vinification – Grapes are hand-picked and destemmed but left uncrushed. A spontaneous intracellular alcoholic fermentation occurs with indigenous yeast, followed by pressing in a pneumatic press. The wine is aged for 11 months on the fine lees with malolactic fermentation in used 500L French barrels. Fined with bentonite.