‘It is tempting to wonder which wines currently being launched on the market may develop massive reputations, and even become cult wines. I would like to nominate the Andalusian wines of Muchada-Léclapart.’
‘I loved the 2017 Lumière, a white that somehow made me think of the white topped-up wines from Jean-Francois Ganevat in the Jura, with a superb palate, round and balanced.’
Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
Today’s task: offroading! And specifically to the chalk-drench pagos of Spain’s Cadiz. It's a world that is, in all honesty, a bit alien to us, but this wine so managed to win and sustain our attention that we can’t help but hold up the spotlight. Are we Burg-o-philes, unapologetic lovers of its wine, its history, above all its cultural vantage point? Absolutely, we are. But we also call it like we see/taste it, and do our best to find beauty where it is rather than where we think it ought to be.
Muchada-Léclapart was founded in 2016 as a partnership between Alejandro Muchada (of Alba Viticultores fame) and David Léclapart (no introduction needed), and their project focuses on reviving the most historically relevant vineyards in the region and returning them to their former glory. They have replaced the normal industrial-scaled monoculture with a vibrant, eco-stabilizing polyculture aided by biodynamic farming, abundant cover crops, and an everything-by-hand philosophy. The wines are produced without fortification nor flor influence and seek to show the delicacy and expressiveness of dry Palomino in this historic winegrowing area.
I’m not sure what the potential is for dry Palomino in this surpassingly beautiful wine region, but I’m 100% sure this represents the furthest reach of my own comprehension of this potential. I’m also sure that this is inspiringly original wine, one that has haunted my thoughts since tasting it last week. The crazy thing is that the constituent parts of the wine are, in name, precisely those one would expect to find in this part of the world: minerality, an umami-d richness, and a delicate expressiveness. But the intensity, layering, and particularity of each of these so far exceeds my previous sense of their expressive potentiality that we’ve now opened four bottles in pursuit of the elusive ‘how?’ I am still not entirely sure, but am only the more assured of the aesthetic power of this wine.
The nose leads with an expressive mandarin-y reduction, very tight and pure, while a few moments in the glass coaxes out a sun-on-rocks kind of minerality. The palate is exceptionally salty and vividly mineral, with a texture that is delicately expressive and finishes gently tannic, with a distinctly citrus-y cling. The energy and subtlety are really lovely, and the strong reductive presence will fascinate lovers of reductive winemaking of the highest order.
What makes a cult wine? Quality is of course a big part, but only a part. Personality, which is to say distinctiveness or ‘originality,’ are perhaps more significant. And originality, an even irrepressible individuality, are present in this beautiful Palomino.
Let us help you get in on the ground floor here, with ‘before they were famous’ pricing and availability.