Cauzón Blanco (2018)
Region - Granada, Spain
Grapes – 5 varietal - Macabeo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier & Torrontés
Alcohol – 12%
Total production – 10,000 bottles
Winemakers - Ramon Saavedra
Around 20 years ago a young Ramón Saavedra left his job as a chef in a Michelin star restaurant on the Costa Brava to claim just 1 hectare of vines he had inherited by his family’s village in the north of Granada (1080m above sea level). Possibly one of the most charming men you could ever meet, Ramón is now of one the most well known natural wine producers in Spain, with 6 hectares of vineyard smattered along the Rambla de Cauzón.
The summers in this part of Granada are brutal, which is why many people opt to live in caves, but the high altitude means that the evenings are cool so Ramon’s wines have a lot of structure with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. The red sandy loam soil is very mineral rich which is a defining feature in the wines whilst the melted snow from the mountains is used to water the vines.
Ramon is definitely a firm believer of quality over quantity and always prunes his vines to ensure that they never yield more than 2 kilos of grapes per vine. These wines always sell out quickly, which is a shame because they age spectacularly and if you can resist drinking them for a few years and hold them in the cellar, the payoff is definitely worth it.
Typically Andalucian in his winemaking style, Ramón makes a number of red wines and just one white. A blend of international varieties with the indigenous Torrontés, the grapes are macerated on skins for 8 hours, enough to impart a little tannin and texture, not so much that the wine becomes oxidised. After this it is aged in stainless steel tanks for 4 months before bottling. 2018 was a particularly cool and wet year in this part of Spain and the harvest was done in late September, almost a full month later than the previous year.
Ripe citrus and salty minerality.