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Juan Carlos Vizcarra is a man of intensity, passion, and incredible ambition. Though his family has grown grapes in northern DO Ribera del Duero for more than four generations, he was the first to make estate-bottled wine from this fruit starting in 1991. The story goes that when he was a boy, he noticed that the historic estates of Vega Sicilia and Pesquera would come to his family in bad vintages to buy fruit. Realizing that his family must have truly special vineyards of the highest quality, Juan Carlos took it upon himself to begin producing wines to express this blessed terroir and heritage. Juan Carlos and his wife have 2 daughters, the eldest of which is Celia – who is now helping him in the winery and studying enology full time. As one might imagine, Celia and her sister’s bottling (Ines) are the flagship wines of the Vizcarra estate. Production every year amounts to a total of 2100 bottles, and comes from a single, steeply sloped vineyard featuring some of the oldest and most pristine vines on the estate. Like all the wines at the tiny winery at Bodegas Vizcarra, Celia is made using gravity-fed winemaking to preserve the freshness and elegance that are intrinsic to the limestone-inflected plantings found in northern Burgos. Meticulous in everything he does, Juan Carlos applies his detail-oriented approach to every facet of the winemaking process. This is a wine meant for the cellar, and, stored properly, will continue to improve for at least 20 years in bottle.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Estate bottled white Ribera made with the oldest vines on the estate, until now unseen and practically forgotten. Gravity fed winemaking, 4 months of battonage, and elevage in French oak give the wine an aristocratic, elegant profile.
2020 94 T Atkin; 2019 93 WA
100% Albillo, planted in 1940.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
24-hour maceration with the skins. Native yeast fermentation in stainless steel, racked by gravity to a mixture of new and used 500L French oak. Gravity is a critical component in Juan Carlos's winemaking. The philosophy is always to be gentle in extracting. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The wine is aged for 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% 1 year old, with 4 months of lees contact and battonage.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The vineyards are located in the town of Mambrilla, at 849 meters (2,785 ft.) elevation. They lie within the northern central area of the Ribera del Duero DO (Zone 2), in the province of Burgos in Castilla y León. The vineyard's topsoil is composed of clay and limestone and the subsoil is gravel. The area's climate has an average temperature from April-October of 60.5F and the average annual rainfall is 18.9 inches. An extreme Continental climate, with cool nights and hot days with moderately low rainfall, provides a longer ripening period, and results in wines with greater complexity and more expressive, intense aromas. Harvest usually begins the first week of October and ends by mid-month.