Muchada-Leclapart - Cadiz Blanco 'Lumiere' 2017 750ml (12.5% ABV)

Muchada-Leclapart - Cadiz Blanco 'Lumiere' 2017 750ml (12.5% ABV)

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"Today’s task: offroading!  And specifically to the chalk-drench pagos of Spain’s Cadiz...

Muchada-Léclapart was founded in 2016 as a partnership between Alejandro Muchada (of Alba Viticultores fame) and David Léclapart (no introduction needed), and their project focuses on reviving the most historically relevant vineyards in the region and returning them to their former glory. They have replaced the normal industrial-scaled monoculture with a vibrant, eco-stabilizing polyculture aided by biodynamic farming, abundant cover crops, and an everything-by-hand philosophy.  The wines are produced without fortification nor flor influence and seek to show the delicacy and expressiveness of dry Palomino in this historic winegrowing area.

I’m not sure what the potential is for dry Palomino in this surpassingly beautiful wine region, but I’m 100% sure this represents the furthest reach of my own comprehension of this potential.  I’m also sure that this is inspiringly original wine, one that has haunted my thoughts since tasting it last week.  The crazy thing is that the constituent parts of the wine are, in name, precisely those one would expect to find in this part of the world: minerality, an umami-d richness, and a delicate expressiveness.  But the intensity, layering, and particularity of each of these so far exceeds my previous sense of their expressive potentiality that we’ve now opened four bottles in pursuit of the elusive ‘how?’ I am still not entirely sure, but am only the more assured of the aesthetic power of this wine.  

The nose leads with an expressive mandarin-y reduction, very tight and pure, while a few moments in the glass coaxes out a sun-on-rocks kind of minerality.   The palate is exceptionally salty and vividly mineral, with a texture that is delicately expressive and finishes gently tannic, with a distinctly citrus-y cling.   The energy and subtlety are really lovely, and the strong reductive presence will fascinate lovers of reductive winemaking of the highest order.  

What makes a cult wine?  Quality is of course a big part, but only a part.  Personality, which is to say distinctiveness or ‘originality,’ are perhaps more significant.  And originality, an even irrepressible individuality, are present in this beautiful Palomino." 

Located within the best vineyard lands of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the historic “Pago Miraflores”, taking advantage of the cool climate of the Atlantic Ocean, they have recovered three hectares of mostly old vineyard from ancient mass selections of Palomino fino and Muscat from Chipiona.

They use minimal intervention techniques to make the wine: they add minimum sulphur (only 10% of what is usual), they do not use selected yeasts or acids to rectify the acidities, they preserve the lees and they bottle without filtering. Overcoming the risks, with delicate and careful work, the result they achieve is sublime: a dry, saline and mineral white wine, with subtle aromas, long on the palate, and absolutely gastronomic.

rare cuvee sourced from some of their oldest vines (60 years) of Palomino Fino on chalky albariza soils from their highest & best plot "La Platera" in the famous "Pago Miraflores."  These older vines give the wine more concentration, more complexity, and the most harmony between all of their wines. Pure expression of Palomino from meticulous farming. As described by Alejandro Muchada: "Lumière is our lighthouse that illuminates; balanced, serene, salty and elegant; the lively subtlety of the Palomino grape."

region: Cadiz, Spain

varietal: Palomino

style: dry white

farming/cellar: biodynamic, hand picked, whole cluster, Directly pressed with 5ppm sulfur then aged on the lees for 9 months in 4 years old used French barrel from Bordeaux. (They use Bordeaux barrel because of its longer shape).