Claríto (“the little clear one”) is 50-50 Garnacha and Viura. It comes from “our own” (controlled for us, while we try to buy it) vineyard of old bush-vines from the Briones municipality, grown in the foothills between Oullari and Hormilla. We’re in the Najerilla Valley, heading south up into the pebbly chalk/red sand foothills under Sierra de la Demanda. These foothills are the traditional home of Clarete and the field blend vineyard that we’ve secured was purpose-planted in order to make Clarete nearly 100 years ago.
A terroir dry pink!
Claríto might even be the current zeitgeist’s greatest utility player, effectively combining the ideas of white wine, skin contact wine, orange wine and Rosado in one lovely, sensual package! Ordinarily, Claríto will be a single vineyard, single pick, field blend ‘grand cru’ pink wine. In some years, the Viura ripens ahead of the Garnacha and we can’t pick it in one coupe. In which case we buy organic, low alcohol Viura from a producer we like who have vineyards of cold limestone-chalk soils under Montes Obarenes in Anguciana. This was the case with our first ever issue, the 2020 Claríto.
For 2021, the field blend harvest took place on October 2nd and the wine was co-fermented after three days of maceration: with stems for red, without for white; the red decanted on top of the white), and was then softly pressed to 65% yield. It fermented in a mix of inox and oak vat (2 x 500L), went through malo and then aged 7 months with lees. At Scott’s behest, Oscar bought some very cute little concrete cubes for the ageing. ABV 12.4%, 3.28 pH, TA 5.2 mg tartaric (after full malo!). 25 mg/litre sulphur at bottling. Very dry.
We wanted to make a serious dry pink wine of texture, flavour, freshness and space. Before malo, the fruit has almost exaggerated freshness; after malo this vibrancy is balanced with a voluptuous entry, clear, mineral mid-palate texture, complexity and a clean, long, very pretty finish.
The palest faded pink rose petal to look at, lucid and brilliant (clarete does mean ‘cleary’, after all). Ruby grapefruit, angelica, rosewater jelly all feature in gorgeous vegetal smells between rose and geranium. It’s fragrant in the most beautiful way, without anything heady or cloying. While it’s Garnacha pink to smell, the palate’s where you see the skin contact maturity and subtle power of properly elaborated white. The soil contributes a delicate crackle of limestone soil energy, with an oyster shell edge. Dry, gently rich, it’s a wine of stoney texture, evenly spread, gently tooled, savoury, seamless, graceful.