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Rubén Díaz owns some of the best vineyards in the Gredos region, a mountain range west of Madrid. Most of his vineyards are located in the municipality of Cebreros, but he also owns a vineyard located in the remote part of the Gredos, called San Bartolomé de Pinares. Using the local grapes and winemaking traditions, Rubén has been instrumental in the re-birth of this wine region.
The Gredos mountains are known for their high altitude (1200+ meters) and beautiful rocky steep slopes. Immensely mineral with decomposed granite and schist soils, the Gredos provide a range of unprecedented elegance and diversity for the autochthonous grape Garnacha, offering some of the most complex bouquets with electric acidity and grippy tannins.
A native of the Gredos, Rubén's first career was as a broker of land of use rights and decided to be a winemaker in 1998. Rubén became so passionate about it that he is now deemed to be an expert in winemaking in the Gredos.
With minimal intervention in the cellar and no use of pesticide, Rubén aims at showing, as much as possible, the terroir of the Gredos (especially from Cebreros, where schist and slate cut through the granite) in his wines to create multitude expressions of Garnacha. This diversity of profiles is evidenced by the Garnacha wines we are offering under this email. In addition, Rubén focuses on the white grapes of Albillo Real and Chasselas Doré to create exciting white wines of various styles: under flor (the veil of yeast that protects the wine from oxidization), skin macerated wine (orange wine), and vibrant and bright wine.
We are thrilled to offer the new selection of Rubén's fantastic wines and have restocked on the sensational Cuesta del Tejar. We also still have a few of the wines that Rubén made with the collaboration of Orly Lumbreras under the label RuBor. Caroline Coursant
The Sorpresa is a long-aged Albillo Real, stored in a small solera started in 2004 when Ruben Diaz found a barrel of 100+ year-old Albillo in a cellar in Cebreros. This ancient Albillo is the base wine of the solera, which he refreshes regularly (though not every year) with young Albillo. Some of the barrels develop a thin layer of flor. He bottles sacas of 200 bottles at a time. Saca #6 was bottled in 2014, pulled from a barrel refreshed in 2004 and 2007. A perfect wine for customers interested in Amontillado or Palo Cortado style sherries. But note that, unlike sherry, Ruben's vinos de tonel are not fortified! Ariana Rolich
Albillo Real is the great white grape of the Sierra de Gredos, a massive mountain range west of Madrid, where Garnacha reigns supreme. Albillo is expressive, earthy and versatile among styles of wine, from crisp whites to orange wines, to historic sweet and rancio styles. The grapes for SADE come from a single vineyard in Cebreros, picked quite ripe and given a 40-day maceration on the skins, resulting in velvety tannin, flavors of musky apricot, papaya, squash, honeycomb, salty cheese rind, and earthy mineral depth. Terrific with a grilled pork chop, roasted chicken, roasted fish with citrus, earthy root vegetables, cheeses or charcuterie. Ariana Rolich
Groove comes from a unique spot in Cebreros, the highest granitic vineyard in the village, planted on very sandy soils at 900m to 50-year-old Grenache vines with very low yields of small grapes with thick skins, with electric tannin and acid. This wine consistently throws people off, as it is not fruit-driven. Groove is intense and distinctly mineral- and acid-driven, with flavors of brambly and herbal wild berry fruit, brilliant acidity, and hints of herbs and coriander. Cool and pretty, even in the intense 2015 vintage. Ariana Rolich
The 2016 Finca La Coronilla is a blend of Albillo Real and Chasselas Doré from 70-year-old vines planted side-by-side on decomposed granitic sand in the village of Cebreros in the Gredos, at 630 meters altitude. The Albillo was picked first and spent a week on the skins before being pressed, and then aged in a single-use French oak barrel. The Chasselas was then added to the Albillo following five days of skin maceration and the wine was then aged for nine months. With great acidity, beautiful texture, light body and precise minerality, the wine is fantastic. Vibrant with an electric energy, the wine displays a delicious, complex bouquet of almond, herbal, spice, saline and earthy notes with tart tropical and pale stone fruits. Pair this wine with poultry and vegetarian fare, such as mushroom risotto and ratatouille. Caroline Coursant
What a fantastic wine reminiscent of classic, non-fortified Sherry and Jura whites! 100% Albillo Real from 70-year-old vines planted on decomposed granitic sands in Cebreros in the Gredos (with a small quantity coming from older vines), Fiorel-la (a nickname for “little flor”) fermented 5 days on its skins and then aged under flor (the veil of yeast that protects the wine from oxidization) in stainless steel for over 18 months (a portion of Fiorel-la is aged in small soleras for Rubén’s vinos de tonel). The wine displays beautiful and distinct aromas, with a complex bouquet of savory, almond, salt, lemon peel, dill, dry bitter earth and olive notes. The palate is vibrant with great minerality, bright acidity, and salinity, and an amazingly long finish. Serve this wine with fish crudos, tapas and grilled fish. Caroline Coursant
La Escalera is a delicious Garnacha wine from 70-year-old vines planted on decomposed granitic sands on steep terraces in San Bartolomé de Pinares at 1,100m altitude (with a touch of 100-year old vines from Cebreros). With 10% stem inclusion, the wine is fermented and aged in used French barrels for 9 months. With juicy red berry, crunchy dark cherry and red plum, the wine is luscious with an enjoyable simplicity. A great example of the Gredos for a great price, this Garnacha wine shows off a precise structure of smooth tannin, good acidity and bright minerality. Enjoy without moderation! Pair this wine with grilled steak, pork tenderloin, roasted lamb or with vegetable lasagna. Caroline Coursant
Cuesta del Tejar is 100% Garnacha from schistous slopes at 950m altitude in the town of Cebreros, the heart of the Sierra de Gredos, and home to a fascinating variety of terroirs and a corresponding bounty of delicious wines. Aromas of wet, warm stone, earthy licorice, and cassis, with flavors of fresh, ripe blackberries, orange oil, sandalwood, supple, starchy tannins, and bright acidity. Well worth cellaring, but also delicious in its youth, pulsating with the primal energy of the Gredos' wild earth, sun, and air. Bravo to our friend Rubén Díaz, the undisputed master of Cebreros! Ariana Rolich
Ruben Diaz is the steward of the ancient tradition in Cebreros of aging red and white wines perpetually in small soleras, tapping them for a few bottles' worth of mature, textured elixirs, called "rancio" or "dorado" wines (some are sweet and some are dry). Diaz has some of the area's oldest examples of these wines and none of them are commercially available, making a tasting from this collection feel akin to a secret museum visit. Thankfully, he has started a number of his own rancio soleras and perpetual cuvees. This one is made from red Garnacha wines from multiple vintages spanning 2006-2013. A sheer, rosy copper hue in the glass, with aromas of hazelnut, orange oil, acetone, and caramel. The senses are bracing for sweetness, but the palate is dry, strong and nuanced, with flavors of dried apricot, raspberry eau de vie, apple skins, sandalwood, dried mediterranean herbs, cacao, and nut skins. An example of Garnacha's supreme versatility! Ariana Rolich
Orly Lumbreras of RuBor is always good for a musical reference! 7 Pulgadas is "seven inches" (as in the vinyl record format), made from a single parcel of Garnacha in Navarrevisca (in the Alto Alberche zone of the Sierra de Gredos), planted on sandy soils of decomposed granite at 1100m altitude. Explosive fragrance of flowers and spice flow onto the powerful palate of ripe raspberry and tart red plum, black cherry and chewy skins. Powdery tannins, mouth-watering Gredos acidity and mineral grip ripple through this wine, which opens up for hours and shines alongside beef, lamb, or a Mexican feast. Ariana Rolich