La Maldición Vinos de Madrid Tinto de Valdilecha 2018
Marc Isart’s lo-fi, organic regime at Bernabeleva carries over to his solo project, which is based on a tiny parcel of vines in the boondocks of Arganda del Rey (within Viños de Madrid DO). A strong advocate of biodynamic viticulture, Isart has a passion for place and for producing wines of great transparency, something this lively, smashable red delivers in spades. Now labelled Tinto de Valdilecha (the wine was previously called Tinto para beber ‘a red to drink’’, it’s a blend of 75% mature-vine Tempranillo (from Valdilecha at 780 metres) and the local white grape Malvar (from Belmonte at a similar altitude) making up the balance. Both varieties are co-fermented with natural yeasts, on skins for 20-25 days, and aged in cement and stainless steel tanks. La Maldición translates as ‘the curse’ and is named after the daily grind that this region’s historical workers faced getting to—and making a living off—the remote, high-altitude, rocky vineyards east of Madrid. There is nothing jinxed about the wine however, which offers bags of pure, fleshy, floral- tinged, cherry/cola fruit, lined with wispy tannins and refreshing acidity. A delicious, high-grown yet generous country red and an absolute bargain as always.