- Silver (2012) Sommelier Wine Awards 2016
About the wine maker
The small wine region of Bierzo can be found to the west of León in north-west Spain. Here in the relatively cool climate, for Spain, at altitudes up to about 800 metres the indigenous Mencía variety is grown in vineyards generally planted on either a sandstone and slate mix or clay soils. The Mencía variety has been grown here for hundreds of years; at ripeness, it has low acid levels and plenty of sugar, producing wines with plenty of fruit character, that are medium- to full-bodied with soft, velvety palates.
Losada make elegant, complex wines that are well in keeping with Spain’s ‘new wave’ approach of modern blended with traditional. They only produce estate wines, sourced from vineyards they have admired for some time and have got to know better and better over time; they pick and vinify the fruit on a plot by plot basis.
Believing the grapes to be more appropriate for the style of wine they make, they specifically look to employ grapes from old vineyards that are traditionally planted on clay soils, a terroir which had been relatively overlooked by other winemakers in the region.
Based on the outskirts of the village of Pieros, on the Way of St James pilgrimage route, close to the village of Villafranca del Bierzo, first mentioned in the 8th century. Some of Losada’s most important vineyard plots are those planted around Valtuille de Arriba: here the grapes for Altos de Losada are produced. Amancio Fernández Gómez is the oenologist at Losada and has worked with the team since the start of the project in 2005 when a number of old vineyards were purchased; in 2010 they moved into a new purpose-built winery from the rented facilities they had been using.
Amancio believes that Mencía grapes from old vines growing on clay soils are thinner and softer and, as a result, give smoother textured wines. The acidity, which underpins these wines, merges subtly to produce wines in which elegance is a major characteristic. A hands-off, winemaking approach gives maximum scope for the wines to express the character and identity of their soils. Losada prefers to differentiate its wines according to the vineyards in which the grapes are grown, rather than the amount of time they spend aged in barrel, as such they only makes reference to crianza or reserva on the back label.
Respect for nature is hard-wired into the company; currently they are still drawing up their own list of environmental measures and standards, as well as experimenting in the vineyard to produce grapes that reflect the terroir with the minimum amount of interference. Undoubtedly this will include quite a few organic and biodynamic techniques as many of these currently seem to be delivering healthy, high-quality grapes.