At a vinopremier.com wine tasting last week we were introduced to Bodegas Buezo which is based in the region of Burgos, Castilla Leon in the North of Spain. The Denominación de Origen for this region is Arlanza, which is a relatively new DO created in 2007. Wine has been produced in the area by monasteries throughout history but the vines were all wiped out in the early 1900s by the Phylloxera plague, so they had to rebuild. It is therefore considered a young upcoming wine region with plenty of potential and a good history in regional winemaking.
Bodegas Buezo, which was launched in 2000, only does matured red wines. According to the Bodega the northern geography, Atlantic climate and the altitude of 860m means that their grapes are grown at the ‘limit’ of where these varieties can be cultivated. This produces grapes high in acidity and tannins. When first blended the wine can be ‘brutal’ and they require a long maturation to allow the acidity and reactive tannins to stabilise and the flavours to balance. For that reason all the wines we tried were from 2005. If you go to their website the wines on sale are from 2004.
Each grape variety (they use 4 main varieties: Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. Plus small percentages, <5%, of experimental varieties) must be individually harvested by hand at different times, though usually in October and November. They’re are fermented using only the natural ingredients that come with the grapes. There is also no automation used in the making of the wine. The building has five floors and the wine is placed into tall mixing tubes that span 3 floors and use gravity to naturally mix the contents.
We tasted four red wines: a 100% Tempranillo, a Tempranillo/Merlot/Cabinet Sauvignon Blend, a Tempranillo/Petit Verdot blend and a Tempranillo/5% experimental varieties blend. Unfortunately the tasting notes for the last one didn’t save and I have lost them. The other three will all be published in due course.
Bodegas Buezo is very keen on wine tourism and they offer a number of different wine tasting, bodega and vineyard tours plus a harvesting experience.
One of the things you get to appreciate when talking to these bodegas is the length of time involved in the production of wine. These guys set up their business in 2000. The first wines that went to market were harvested in 2004. However they mature their wines for 12 months in oak and then a further minimum 5 years in the bottle, so these wines were not ready for sale until 2010. Imagine having to wait 10 years before you know whether your wines are any good, and more importantly being to bring in some revenue.
Although the 2004 wines were available in 2010 they are considered best for 2018. That is a lot of effort over 18 years to finally produce a market worthy wine. The passion and patience these guys must have. I’m impressed.