La Zorra Teso Rufete 2019

Teso Rufete bottle
Teso Rufete label

La Zorra Teso Rufete 2019

La Zorra’s Teso is the pure expression of idyllic Sierra de la Salamanca’s native rufete grape. 

It is made from the single El Tesoro vineyard at 850m in the Garcibuey district with pizarra (slate) and clay soils within the picturesque mountains of Las Batuecas Sierra de Francia Natural Park near the Portuguese border due west from Madrid.  Much of the area is protected as a national park biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The region also holds another treasure: the native rufete grape, a rare indigenous variety that can also be found across the border in central Portugal.

Located just behind Mirasierra, Agustín Maíllo’s famous family restaurant in the mountain town of Mogarraz, La Zorra (literally “the fox”), has notably contributed to the recovery of the winemaking tradition in the area as well as the indigenous red grape rufete. Agustín found inspiration in “The Fox and the Grapes,” a fable written by Félix María de Samaniego, to name his project. 

In many ways, rufete can be reminiscent of a fresh, nervy, food-friendly Cru Beaujolais from France. We love to drink it in the same fashion, with a slight chill, and with hearty food. 

Vintage – 2019 was a small but exceptional vintage, with excellent balance, producing harmonious wines with excellent potential. It was harvested on September 13 after a dry summer preceded by a fairly rainy spring with a perfect balance of phenolic ripening and acidity. Vibrant, fresh, and complex. 230 cases produced. 

Vinification – Grapes are hand-harvested in small boxes. 20% of the bunches undergo a whole-cluster, intracellular fermentation, and cold maceration for 72 hours. The remainder of the bunches are de-stemmed and crushed, undergoing a spontaneous alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts for 12 days, with temperature control. Both fermentations occur in stainless steel. After racking, it undergoes malolactic fermentation in two and three-year-old French and American oak barrels. After the second fermentation (mid-December), it is transferred into a stainless steel tank for six months. During the second week of May 2020, it was racked once again and bottled.

  • Site: El Tesoro at 800m to 850m

  • Grapes: Rufete

  • Vine Age: Vines planted from 1934 to 1979

  • Soil: Slate and clay

  • Farming: Practicing Organic

  • Vinification: Spontaneous fermentation with native yeast in stainless steel

  • Aging: Less than four months in used French and American oak

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Suggested Retail: $28.00 (750ml)