Ismael Gozalo makes stunning verdejo wines and some reds from his native village Nieva in the Segovia province. (See here.)
In addition, Ismael works with red varieties from various places, such as mencía from Bierzo, garnacha from Gredos, and rufete from Sierra de Salamanca. All are in the MicroBio line, they come under the designation Castilla y León, the name of the region. Here are some of them.
Mencía from the Corullón village in Bierzo. Ungrafted vines planted in 1926 on slate. Northern exposure gives freshness. 75% destemming. 22 days fermentation. Around one year in old barrels.
Deep, dark, almost opaque core, violet rim. Dark fruits, blackcurrant, blackberry, lickorice, tar. Luscious in the mouth, fresh acidity. A slight touch of “bretty” barnyard in the aftertaste, but only for the good.
Sietejuntos Tempranillo 2015
The name means “Seven together”. Originally Ismael made 7 small deposits, 7 varietals, and he points out that 7 is a cabbalistic number.
Tempranillo 95%, the rest syrah. Grown in Nieva at 900 meters, ungrafted, from 1946. Natural yeasts. Lightly pressed and extracted. The end of alcoholic fermentation in oak. Around one year in old barrels. Unfiltered.
Cherry red. Fruity aroma, blackberries, cherry, green peppers, spices. Luscious and fruity, with just a touch of tannin and carbonic, good acidity.
Livre and Sietejuntos front labels
Sietejuntos Merlot 2015
From a vineyard in Nieva (silt, black clay, subsoil of grey slate) planted as late as 1999. Destemmed. Lightly pressed (with hands and feet) not to extract vegetal notes. Natural yeasts, aged in old barrels, unfiltered.
Cherry red. Fruity aroma, mature blackberries, cherry, herbs, spices. Luscious and fruity, with just a touch of tannin, good acidity and a touch of bitterness in finish.
Sietejuntos Syrah 2015
Syrah planted in 1999 in Nieva (on decomposed grey slate), grafting wood from Crozes-Hermitage. Partly destemmed, and lightly pressed (hands and feet). Aged in oak used for white Burgundy to round off the tannins.
Dark red. Blackcurrant, blackberries, pepper, spices, and a minty new oak aroma, with a cool component too (reminiscent of After Eight mint chocolate). Full, meaty, lot of round tannins, good acidity.
Livre and Sietejuntos back labels
Other than the nine wines there are several reviews of his wines on these pages. For example: Here is an story of the modern Nieva, a great little village on the Spanish wine scene, where one more wine is in focus.