Pago los Balancines: A Spanish Vineyard with Respect for the Land and Nature

When it comes to terrain and climate, Pagos los Balancines could not have done any better. Set at elevated altitudes between the Juan Bueno Mountain and Pena’s Blancas Mountain Ranges within the D.O. Ribera de Guadiana in Western Spain, and benefiting from the cool and moist ocean breeze coming off the Atlantic towards the Mediterranean Sea, the vineyard of Pagos los  Balancines enjoys mineral rich soil and prime conditions for planting white grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and red varietals like Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha Tintorera and Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard practices sustainable farming methods of production and exist in harmony with the wildlife and flora around them. Methods of production involve double spur pruning the rainfed gobelet trained vines in winter to ensure that each produces a small number of well spaced bunches. In spring, immature grapes are removed to increase the likelihood that the grapes eventually harvested have both sufficient minerality and concentrated fruit flavors. The grapes are hand harvested at night to retain optimal freshness and flavor potential. In fall, the harvested grapes undergo maceration in cement tanks. The juice is manually pumped then aged in French oak (the duration in French oak depends on the type of wine being produced).
img_20160826_153425-1The vineyard produces two particularly fine red blends. The Los Balancines, HUNO, comprised of
Garnacha Tintorera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Syrah, is full bodied, and characterized by expressive notes of chocolate, ripe red fruit and sweet spice and rich and balanced tannins. Careful selection of quality grapes for each varietal are processed separately and fermented in cement tanks. It is manually pumped over and the must is allowed to mingle with the skin to maximize flavor. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak. The wine is aged in these barriques for twelve months.
The Los Balancines, Matanegra, comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Garnacha Tintorera, is robust and flavorful, and characterized by complex notes of ripe cherry and berry fruit, dark chocolate, cream and oak and mature tannins. Malolactic fermentation of this wine also takes place in French oak barriques. The wine is aged for eighteen months.
Two white wines from the vineyard’s limited edition Bootleg Wine collection showcase the versatility of this vineyard to produce fine wines in several styles from a number of grapes using different quality and meticulous methods of production.
The single varietal Alunado, comprised of one hundred percent Chardonnay, gives off fresh and sweet aromas of ripe citrus and tropical fruit and contains well rounded notes of vanilla cream, citrus and pineapple, along with caramel and oak. This wood-aged Chardonnay goes through a delicate de stemming process and only the free-run juice from the first pressing is transferred to small volume tanks. Fermentation and aging is finalized in barriques.
The single varietal Alunado, comprised of one hundred percent Sauvignon Blanc, is unique in that it is partially aged in French oak barriques. The crisp, acidic and citrus dominant Sauvignon Blancs that make up the majority of the Sauvignon Blanc we see on the international market today are aged in stainless steel tanks. The partly oak barrel aged Alunado however is distinctively rich and complex, with creamy notes of ripe peach, apricot, lemon and spiced oak. This wine is made from select grapes that are night harvested at the peak of freshness. It stays on the lees for thirteen months and spends most of this time in new French oak barrels.

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