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RuBor Viticultores is a winegrowing partnership between Rubén Díaz and Orly Lumbreras, born of friendship and a shared passion for the vineyards of the Sierra de Gredos, a range of massive mountains just west of Madrid, where perfectly adapted old vines of Garnacha grow on granite and schist slopes (alongside tiny amounts of white grapes Albillo Real and Chasselas). A new generation of winegrowers are making their mark in the Gredos by recuperating abandoned vines or adopting vineyards from retiring growers, farming carefully (organically with some biodynamic methods), and nurturing majestic old vines into world-class wines. RuBor is central to the push toward innovation and terroir expression, thoughtfully crafting a tiny amount of wine in their cellars in the atmospheric mountain town of Cebreros - the heart of the Sierra de Gredos and namesake for the soon-to-be D.O.P. Vino de Calidad de Cebreros.
In conversation with winemakers of the Gredos, it doesn't take long for Rubén Díaz's name to come up. Affable, open, and generous, a true son of Cebreros, Díaz is an encyclopedic and unassuming connector between the best grapes in the area and those who want them. His first career was as a broker of land use rights, which, while profitable, required him on occasion to counsel clients to rip out old vineyards. He described the pain that this action caused in his heart, leading him in 1998 to abandon the "dark side" and pursue a life in service of the village's sacred old vines; he sought help learning how to prune the vines and started to make his own wine.
In 2013, Díaz joined forces with Orly Lumbreras to launch RuBor Viticultores. Orly was busy splitting his time between full-time work as a sound engineer at Radio Nacional de España and pursuit of his passion: making Garnacha from some of the Gredos' most extreme mountain vineyards around the town of Navarredondilla (a familiar name to fans of El Marciano Garnacha from Alfredo Maestro - Orly's former cellarmate). Orly is talented and taciturn, palpably awed by the cosmic force of these magnetic mountains, and prone to poetry in describing RuBor's perspective on farming, winemaking, and nature itself.
He and Rubén came together to collaborate on making some Albillo, and officially teamed up as RuBor in June 2013 while sampling the grapes of a high, sandy Garnacha vineyard in Cebreros. They describe the fruit as small and concentrated in flavor with brilliant acidity and "electric" tannins, unlike any Garnacha either one of them had tasted (in a region teeming with examples of extraordinary Garnacha). They saw sparks and RuBor was born. These revelatory grapes would become a singular wine - Groove - which we are delighted to offer today.
"White wine is for dreaming, and red wine is for enjoyment," Orly reflected. It stands to reason that in hardcore red wine country like the Gredos, the duty to respect the grandeur of Garnacha and reflect terroir precisely may inhibit experimenting freely with reds, while white wine can be a source for freedom and fancy. Tasting with Rubén and Orly, it is clear that they have a lot of fun with their white wine experiments! We have just received the 2015 vintage of Chass! - 100% Chasselas with a little bit of skin contact and a lot of fresh, salty, mineral flavor. According to Rubén Díaz, Chasselas (also known as Doré) has been in the region for a very long time, having been brought from Valencia along the Camino de Levante leading to Santiago.
Albillo Real is the great white grape of the Gredos. Big-boned with moderate acidity, it is most frequently compared to Rhone whites, but Albillo possesses a personailty all its own and a wide, intriguing variety of expressions, invariably infused with the power of mountain earth and air. The first release of Protocolo Zero Albillo and Garnacha have arrived, RuBor's first wines made from blends of vineyards and vinifications, driven by "solo sensaciones fugaces" (only fleeting sensations) rather than predetermined protocol.
The results are sensuous, exotic, and mineral, full of personality and pleasure that is enhanced by their very low price. The new vintage of Orly's first winemaking project - Punto G - rounds out this special lineup of wines. Every bottle of RuBor wine feels like a delicious adventure, an experience of something totally new. Dream and enjoy! Ariana Rolich
Please join us for an in-store tasting of all of these RuBor wines this Friday, December 16th, 5-7pm.
Eric Asimov included Chass! in his Thanksgiving lineup this year, noting that he would serve it with a cheese course or for wine fanatics, but cautioned that it is not for a general crowd. Given that most Chambers Street customers fall safely into the fanatic category, we feel confident in this recommendation! A fresh and pretty entree into the world of RuBor Viticultores, our good friends Ruben Diaz and Orly Lumbreras, this is 100% Chasselas from two small plots of 70+ year-old vines on decomposed granite soils in Cebreros, the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. With 3-4 days of skin contact, then raised entirely in stainless steel with occasional batonnage, this is a new experience of Chasselas. Bright and salty, textured and expressive, with subtle stone fruit, white grapefruit pith, orange blossom, beeswax, and crunchy minerals, with a tickle of tannin from time on the skins. An irresistible choice for adventurous apéritifs, poultry, and seafood! Ariana Rolich
A delicious introduction to orange wine and Rubor Viticultores, made of 100% Albillo Real, the great white grape of the mighty Gredos Mountains, west of Madrid. Rubén and Orly explore a wide range of expressions between their two old-vine Albillo parcels planted on granitic soils - La Peguera and SADE - through strategic harvest dates, skin contact, and vinification style. Protocolo Zero allows them to marry the fresh, youthful, and bright wines with rich, spicy, and aromatic ones, in proportions of their choosing. This succulent white explodes with exciting granitic texture and length, with flavors of musky peaches, Bosc pear, butterscotch, chamomile, and a hint of fresh ginger. Pair with roasted poultry, seafood, pâtés and cheeses. Seriously delicious on its own as well, for lovers of white wines with a little skin contact! Ariana Rolich
Protocolo Zero is RuBor's first wine from a blend of vineyards, an exuberant and supple Garnacha, with exotic perfume of rose, raspberry, hibiscus, cinnamon, and resinous herbs wafting from the glass. Spicy raspberry and stewed strawberry fruit share the stage with honeyed wild flowers, deep mineral earth, and fine tannins that stick to the tongue. This wine continues to open for days, taking on rich chocolate-raspberry, blackberry liqueur, tobacco and earth with tart skins of black cherry and cranberry and crunchy berry seeds. The Sierra de Gredos' trademark acidity and minerality are energizing foils for this extravagantly delicious and affordable, full-bodied red. Ariana Rolich
Orly Lumbreras of RuBor Viticultores described Groove as "un cañón" in its youth. With a little bit of time in bottle, it has mellowed into a veritable laser beam! This is singular Garnacha, utterly fabulous, from a single vineyard that inspired the partnership between Ruben Diaz and Orly Lumbreras in the first place. 50-year-old vines with southeast exposition on very fine granitic sandy soils at 900m altitude (the highest granitic vineyard in Cebreros, a village known for old-vine Garnacha on steep, schistous slopes). High-toned with intense, almost vertical acidity, taut black cherry, herbal black raspberry and purple berry fruit, chewy dark cherry skins, rhubarb, pink peppercorn, lots of violet, lavender, and rose florals, hints of thyme, and a taut, long, granitic mineral force. A wine to observe and celebrate over many years. Ariana Rolich
Magnums of 2014 Groove! What could be finer? Orly Lumbreras of RuBor described Groove as "un cañón" in its youth. With a little bit of time in bottle, it has mellowed into a laser beam! This is singular Garnacha, utterly fabulous, from a single vineyard that inspired the RuBor partnership. 50-year-old vines with southeast exposition on very fine granitic sandy soils at 900 meters altitude (the highest granitic vineyard in Cebreros, a village known for old-vine Garnacha on high, schistous slopes). High-toned with intense, almost vertical acidity, taut black cherry, herbal black raspberry and purple berry fruit, chewy dark cherry skins, rhubarb, pink peppercorn, lots of violet, lavender, and rose florals, hints of thyme, and a taut, long, granitic mineral force. A wine to observe and celebrate over many years. Ariana Rolich
Before joining forces with Rubén Díaz to start RuBor, Orly Lumbreras was making wine solo in some of the Sierra de Gredos' most extreme and awe-inspiring vineyards on granitic soils around the austere mountain town of Navarredondilla. He is still producing Punto G, which was his first wine, made from 70 year-old Garnacha at 1,100 meters altitude, fermented with whole clusters with native yeasts, and raised in used French oak for six months. Fuller, more dense and brawny than Groove, with many years of life ahead, Punto G displays luscious dark cherries, ripe berry skins, and savory black currant fruit, full of rich earth, dried oregano, and notes of sweet spice. The complexity of this wine builds with hours and days of air. Yearning for stewed lamb or grilled steak on a cold night is activated! Ariana Rolich