El Marciano from Alfredo Maestro

Jun 04, 20 El Marciano from Alfredo Maestro

I met Alfredo right before all wine trade events, and everything else, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdown, at a new wave Spanish winetasting here in London. What drew my eye to Alfredo’s stand was one bottle in particular, El Marciano.

Now Alfredo himself is quite a character, very passionate about his wines and an expressive talker. His table was also crowded with tasters, tasting through his wines. That’s always a good sign so I got stuck in and started tasting.

Alfredo grows his grapes in mountains about 70 kms outside Madrid, in the Ribera del Duero DOC but he prefers to stay out of the appellation system. His wines are therefore made under the ‘Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon’ designation. Alfredo makes his wine completely naturally, with no added sulfur and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration which means they are also vegan. He uses biodynamic and organic practices in the vineyards although he is not certified for either.

Alfredo amongst his old vines

The garnacha vines for El Marciano are planted at a high elevation, 1,150 metres and the soil is granitic bedrock. Alfredo uses old vines that are over 70 years old. The vineyard is located in a mountainous region called Navarredondilla and is known locally for its UFO sightings. Alfredo says that the label’s story is that he got to his vineyards early and saw two aliens working the vines. He’s saying to them, what are you doing in my vineyard? So, he named his garnacha after those little green men who are flying around (and apparently working in) his vineyards.

El Marciano is a fun but serious garnacha, all natural but not funky. This is a very well made wine. On the nose it is ripe and concentrated with red fruit aromas coming through. On the palate, it is slightly rustic but lively and fresh with tasty red fruit flavours, velvety and smooth, it has a long finish.

A very well made natural wine. Pair it with roast pork or take it along to a summer BBQ. We currently have it in stock at Hootch Wine Cellar in Dalston for £17.75.

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