El vino de la semana: Decorus Rosé 2022

The small Bodegas Decorus is located in the municipality of Santa Inés in Burgos, just 4 kilometers from the pretty town of Lerma, although they produce on a rental basis at the Palacio de Lerma winery.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
26 August 2023 Saturday 10:33
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El vino de la semana: Decorus Rosé 2022

The small Bodegas Decorus is located in the municipality of Santa Inés in Burgos, just 4 kilometers from the pretty town of Lerma, although they produce on a rental basis at the Palacio de Lerma winery. It is one of the youngest wine projects of the DO Arlanza. They started in 2020, recovering hawthorns from old vines (over 70 years old, and some even hundreds of years old). They work their vineyards sustainably, following organic farming.

This overflowing project of illusion has been promoted by two childhood friends: the teacher Luis Rodríguez Amayuelas and the engineer Fernando Santamaria del Hoyo. Luis, who regrets that young people no longer want to work with the area's forgotten hawthorns, has left teaching to focus on a winery that today only produces around 3,000 bottles a year, and still does not export. They are also looking for someone to distribute them in Catalonia. The best way to get their wines is still through the contact they provide on their website.

From Decorus it is remembered that in Santa Inés and Villalmanzo there were many vineyards that were not subdivided. This, on the one hand, made it possible to preserve "the tradition of the countrymen of making their wine in their grandfather's cellar". But now this "has become his judgment." Luis Rodríguez Amayuelas points out that "there are hundreds of small plots of 100 to 600 square meters of vineyards, impossible to mechanize or to work with crews (for logistics), which is why since the 70s all these vineyards have begun to be abandoned." He adds that "it is surprising to walk through the forest of Santa Inés and find holm oaks and junipers on which different varieties of vines climb and entangle that still, and without vine growers, resist the passage of time."

Since 2018 they set out to recover some of those plots "that still had a remedy." The work has been and continues to be very laborious. In fact, they can only plow with a hoe. In this way, the vines coexist with rosemary, lavender, lavender and thyme, and are surrounded by holm oaks and juniper groves, where they coexist with voracious roe deer.

Decorus 2022 is the latest novelty from the winery. It was released on the market last July. Of this first vintage, only a limited edition of 700 bottles has been produced. The meaning of Decorus bonito in Latin is beautiful and, in addition, it is a genotype of roe deer. On their labels they honor this cervid "because we love and respect nature", although they do not forget that "it is beginning to be a problem for some in the area".

They remember that, in the case of the vineyard, the roe deer eat the tender shoots in spring and the clusters before the harvest. And they add that "we, instead of fencing the plots, which is what people are opting for, we accept it and calculate the yields with the natural losses." Even Luis Rodríguez Amayuelas pays tribute to the roe deer on his personal WhatsApp, with an emoticon of this animal.

That of 2022 was a vintage with abundant rains in spring, and with a very dry and sunny summer. In fact, it was the hottest summer on record for the area to date. The harvest was carried out very early, in mid-September. To make this rosé, the grapes from two multivarietal hawthorns were selected by hand, with vines planted more than 80 years ago, located in the municipalities of Villalmanzo (Valdetabladillo) and Santa Inés (La Piñuela). They are two hawthorns located a very short distance from each other, and both are worked with the utmost respect for nature and surrounded by high mountains made up of junipers, gall oaks and holm oaks. The one in Valdetabladillo reaches 910 meters above sea level, and its soil is alluvial and sandy. The one of La Piñuela has an altitude of 880 meters, and clay-silty alluvial soil.

Decorus 2022 is a claret made with 40% white grape varieties (mainly Albillo Mayor and Viura, and 5% other varieties such as white Tempranillo, Palomino or Rojal) and 30% Garnacha, 25% Tempranillo and 5% of other red varieties such as Mencía and Bobal, among others. On its label it is explained that it is the fruit of recovered vines, mainly of the Tempranillo variety. The selection of the berries is carried out in the vines themselves.

A light pressing and alcoholic fermentation are carried out at a controlled temperature at 18ºC, in a stainless steel tank. It was aged for 5 months with its own lees and without punching. It is a beautiful salmon-colored rosé, with coppery tones. Crisp and bright. It is very floral, and also shows red strawberries. At the same time, it exhibits notes of aromatic herbs (rosemary, chamomile and lavender). It is round, fresh, light and has good acidity and a somewhat liqueur finish, although it only has 13º of alcohol. It is a very unique claret.

Luis Rodríguez Amayuelas likes to harmonize it with sushi. It is also ideal to accompany some fettuccine with red prawns, spaghetti with prawns and mussels, some jabuguitos al infierno (Iberian chorizo ​​cooked with fine wine) and even with another very typical proposal of the area: a rotten pot (with red beans, chorizo , marinated rib, black pudding from Covarrubias and bacon).