Fabio BartolomeI Vinos Ambiz, Alba Albillo (2016)

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400000018546
Fabio BartolomeI Vinos Ambiz, Alba Albillo (2016)

In 2006, Fabio Bartolomei (whose day gig is working in Madrid as a translator) landed on a vineyard in Carabana some kilometers south of Madrid with old-vine Tempranillo and Airén with an abandoned cow shed nearby that he converted into a winery. Fabio graduated to a "real" winery by 2010 and purchased another vineyard with ancient vines of an obscure native grape called Malvar. They're looking now to move the winery into a concrete building from the '60s that's twenty minutes away, which will naturally buffer the cellar from heat and cold better than other structures. Their terroir is fantastic – hot, arid, without rain from the flowering season to the harvest, with Burgundian limestone soil underlying the Tempranillo and Airén plots, and more red clay for the colorful Malvar (out of which he makes pulpy and delicious orange wines). While anti-natural wine haters are busy trying to call natural winemakers fanatics, we see the work of young vignerons like Fabio as following a simple formula: do nothing unnecessary in the vineyard or the cellar and let the wines guide their own evolution. If you have well-managed vineyards without chemical junk all over them, clean equipment, and a good sense of timing, you end up with poetically rich, subtle as hell, boisterously flavorful and idiosyncratically personal wines such as these of Vinos Ambiz. He adds absolutely nothing in the winery, and bottles everything unfined and unfiltered. 100% natural corks (from a sustainable cork oak forestry), and even the glass bottles are re-used for extra hippy points.