How would you go about discovering new wine and what would push you to choose a particular wine over thousands of others?
If you know nothing about the producer, the region or the wine-making process, what would make you pick up a specific bottle?
Would it be the label, the region or the type of grape used?
Sometimes you might simply be drawn to a bottle without knowing the reason why, and if that bottle turns out to be a real gem, you will never forget it.
We knew we had chosen well when we decided some of the wines from ‘LMT Wines’ had to be included in our catalogue. It felt natural and seamless all the way. Firstly, ‘LMT Wines’ work mainly with the Garnacha grape, one of our favourite grapes right now. Secondly, they are based in Navarra, an area that is seeing a rebirth, beyond their fame for good Rosé wine. Thirdly, their project is exciting, with a bright future ahead of it.
‘LMT’ stands for Luis Moya Tortosa. Luis is the soul of the project. He collaborates with Gonzalo Celayeta to create the Kimera line, but he considers himself a nomad winemaker.
What do I mean when I say Luis is a nomad winemaker? Well, Luis doesn't have a winery and he doesn't own any vineyards. He elaborates on wines wherever he can and he often makes his wines in different spaces each year. Some of his wines also "move". They could be made with one grape one year but then a different grape could be used the following year.
This can be challenging, but it also makes the whole process and evolution of the wine interesting to follow.
Luis’ philosophy is clear in terms of how the vines should be looked after. There must be minimum intervention, with respect for the environment. Work must be done by hand and no pesticides or fertilisers should be used. It sounds easy enough, but it isn't...
In the cellar, Luis then creates his magic. Apart from being respectful towards the winemaking processes, he does not add or take much from the wines either. And the result? His wines are fresh, elegant, surprising and moreish.
I mentioned the Kimera earlier. This is a 100% Garnacha wine that has been aged in Amphorae. The bottle has a striking label design and I think it is one of the best I’ve seen recently. Kimera is a wine made with grapes from different plots around the town of San Martin de Unx. To describe this wine, teleport yourself to a Mediterranean forest. Fresh red fruit flavours and bush herb aromas will aid your travel whilst you remain seated.
Another wine called Masusta (which means blackberry in Basque) has been aged in local Navarran oak barrels. As rare as it sounds, this wine is the precious stone in a crown.
Luis is getting increased attention due to his single-plot wines. These wines are made with grapes from particular vineyards and these old vines are treated with all the respect they deserve. El Yesal comes from a vineyard with a unique gypsum and limestone soil. The soil, the orientation of the plot and the age of the vines make this a superb wine. But nothing is as easy as it seems.
This plot may produce enough grapes for 1600 bottles one year but the following year there might be just 900 bottles produced. This is the nature of working with old vines and these kinds of soils, and this is why (unfortunately) many of these valuable vines are disappearing. The production is not constant.
Luis also produces a top wine called Ostoki (just 400 to 600 bottles per year!). He found a completely abandoned plot and then spent five years bringing it back to production standard. The plot overlooks the city of Pamplona and it is surrounded by trees. This plot takes its name from the Basque language again, Ostoki means "place of dry leaves", the leaves that fall from the surrounding trees.
Our friend Luis also makes Rioja wines, as well as some interesting ancestral sparkling wines, and although the majority of his wines are made with Garnacha, his Graciano wines are worth taking into consideration too.
We are very happy to support and promote Luis’ project, and to bring some of his wines to Mallorca for you to enjoy.
‘LMT Wines’ have recently been given a special mention and some really good ratings in a very important wine publication (I’m pretty sure you can guess which one). We don’t tend to follow these publications as though they were ‘a wine bible’, but it does reassure us that we have a good nose for some of the more interesting wines out there!