Vinas Serranas is one of the hottest new wineries in all of Spain thanks to the formidable owner and winemaker Cesar Ruiz and what he’s been able to accomplish in the first three years the winery has been running.
Based out of Castilla, Spain, Ruiz balances his winemaking and sommelier background by owning and managing a wine bar in Madrid and his winery an hour and a half away. It was there where he fell in love with the indigenous varietal, Rufete a few years back and has since made it his mission to bring the grape to the wine loving masses.
This new venture from Ruiz and his partners is part of new wave of unique, singular, small production wines in Spain that tap into the richness and diversity of its indigenous regions and varietals. The wines show the world the potential of a newly rediscovered yet ancient grape variety and terroir. If you’re looking for your next wine discovery, look no further.
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92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
There is a new single-vineyard bottling from a plot in the village of Molinillo. The 2018 Fuente Grulla fermented in stainless steel with 20% full clusters and indigenous yeasts at controlled temperature and then matured in used French oak barrels for 10 months. They only used a little bit of sulfur at bottling time. There is granite, slate and a metamorphic rock called hornfels (also called whetstone) in the soils in the Salamanca Mountains. This vineyard is rich in these hornfels, which are supposed to give the wines a smoky character. In any case, this wine shows marked character; it’s fresh and elegant, quintessential Rufete at its best, like a cooler version of Garnacha. The whole portfolio shows moderate alcohol, good balance and very integrated oak, respecting the character of each wine and letting the varietal characteristics come through. This is very pleasant.
92+ Points, John Gillman
The Fuente Grulla bottling of Rufete from Viñas Serranas is a single vineyard bottling from a parcel of bush vines planted at six hundred and fifty meters elevation on a soil base that is primarily schist, with limestone and sand laced through. This was the first vineyard in the region replanted after phylloxera had passed, but as record keeping was sketchy, no one is quite sure how old these vines are, but probably closing in on their centenary. The 2018 bottling includes twenty percent whole clusters, is fermented in stainless with native yeasts and raised for ten months in used, three hundred liter French oak barrels. The Fuente Grulla is a touch riper than the Ciclón in this vintage, coming in listed at thirteen percent and delivering a fine, youthful aromatic blend of bitter cherry, pomegranate, a tree bark, stony soil tones, coffee bean, discreet botanicals and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and soildriven, with a lovely core, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, complex and beautifully balanced finish. This is not a big wine, but it is loaded with complexity and mineral drive, while staying impressively light on its feet. Rufete is a completely new grape to me and I really, really like what I am tasting from Cesar Ruiz! 2020-2040+.