MENADE BRING IN A QUALITY HARVEST IN A MORE COMPLICATED VINTAGE THAN 2013
We are most pleased to inform you that following a climatic cycle characterized primarily by virtually no rain, we ended up harvesting more than a million kilos of excellent quality grapes.
‘The phenolic maturation was ideal, our musts are wonderfully rich in aromas, most promising indeed; and our analyses confirm that we´ve achieved tremendous balance’ says Richard Sanz, adding that ‘since adopting a wholly natural approach, we’re finding that not only do our wines tend to be around half a degree higher in alcohol but that they also have a tad more acidity, better balance, are more rounded, and finish fermenting earlier.’
This he attributes to the respect with which we treat the land and natural environment plus the use of our own wild yeasts
Despite the fact that, in general, DO Rueda’s crop this year was some 15 to 20% down, due to such dry conditions, we are pleased to report that at Menade we panned out at more or less the same level of production as last year.
This can be attributed to our green harvesting those parcels where it proved necessary in order to ensure quality rather than volume; and our average yields this year worked out at 7500 kilos a hectare for our trellised vineyards and 1500 for our bush vines. There were sporadic bursts of oidium following flowering but we’d already taken advance, preventative measures by natural means as well as affording the vineyards with just enough irrigation to pre-empt their needs during such a dry cycle.
Ensuring major advances in the quality of Rueda
As implied, we’ve opted for and are totally committed to making our wines as purely as possible, respecting Nature; and firmly believe that our wines represent a major departure from the legions of formulaic wines that our region is so successful with.
We believe most earnestly in the Verdejo grape variety, in the potential of our land and biodiversity; and by this token each of our vintages will of course be different and display its own character.
Our passion should in no way be mistaken for or interpreted as a voguish fad, for we are the 6th generation of a tightly knit professional and most successful wine-making family and so in essence we have simply returned to the traditional way of doing things – use natural treatments (plant infusions or whey) which are gentler on the soil and our vines than chemical products; and encourage insect life (attracted or discouraged, as the case may require, with aromatic plants) to fend off other maladies.
For eldest brother and Vineyard Manager Marco Sanz it’s as clear as daylight: ‘ecology is a question of anticipation’; and accordingly, after each harvest, he sets about analyzing the soil in order to establish which key elements are deficient and determine which compensating treatments will be best for the next cycle. ’We use organic manure/fertilizer in preference to mineral alternatives and let the natural surface vegetation act as a natural regulator to then monitor how the life in the soil reacts’.
Menade’s most recent release – Nosso – is an even more adventurous departure: a Verdejo made on the basis of age-old principles whereby (supervised of course) the wine was largely left to its own devices and fermented free of sulphur and all other corrective chemical additives.
Our efforts have been gratifying rewarded by much recent acclaim – on the one hand Gold Medals for our Menade wines at the French Millesimé Bio and on the other by a series of important Parker points from Luis Gutiérrez of the Wine Advocate.
We thank you for supporting us
Richard, Marco & Alejandra Sanz