Leoncio Pais 2021

Leoncio Pais 2021

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Press 4 Mix/Red • June 2024 Direct Press Selection

Leonidas Fernández (called Beto by his friends) founded his winemaking project Leoncio (named for a childhood nickname used by his mother) in 2021. Born in Colombia, Beto was a sommelier for 15 years in Spain, Mexico and Colombia before coming to Itata to work with Roberto Henriquez. After a year, he struck out on his own, working with local farmers to preserve the ancient viticultural heritage of the area. His goal is to highlight, honor and protect these ancient vines, while simultaneously helping them to find an audience more globally. To that end, Beto does not buy vineyards, but instead works collaboratively with local farmers and their families to convert their vines to organic, regenerative, and biodynamic farming. Working this way helps improve the lives of the area’s farmers, who have historically struggled to find recognition and a market for their wines. Much of his time is spent biking between the different parcels he works with, assisting with farming and organic treatments. In the Leoncio cellar, Beto works with very limited intervention, avoiding additives and employing only native yeasts. 

This wine is mostly País with small amounts of Aramon and Cinsault from multiple parcels of own-rooted 150-year-old vines around Batuco and Magdalena Alto in the Itata Valley. The vines are about 100m altitude and the soils are a mix of basaltic red clays. The grapes were destemmed and macerated on the skins for 8 days during fermentation before pressing with a small, manually operated vertical press into old Raulí foudres. Bottled without fining, filtering and with only a small sulfur addition. Ben Fletcher/José Pastor

Tasting notes:  This is such a stand out Pais for this vintage. Vibrant, lean, and tart berries on the nose with hints of fresh herbs and a red floral component, reminiscent of hibiscus. In the glass is a lifted, crisp, and balanced light red wine with plenty of salinity, fresh red berry, and hint of smoke with a bit of herbal complexity to keep you refilling your glass. Bring this to your cook out and sub for a white wine for those who don't drink white wine no matter how hot it gets. Jeremy Hernandez

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