From Catalan, Marc Isart is head winemaker at the much acclaimed Bernabeleva, where he spearheaded the property’s transformation to biodynamics. At La Maldición (‘The Curse’), he works on “getting back in touch with the home soil, nature and farming”. Named for the laborers’ struggle to reach and work the land at this secluded property in Valdelicha, Madrid, La Maldición is located in the Arganda del Ray sub-zone (within Viños de Madrid DO), home to old vine Tempranillo and Malvar.
The village of Valdilecha has old Tempranillo vines planted at 780m, while Belmonte is home to old Malvar vines at 733m. Planted to soils that are mostly sedimentary calcareous and gypsiferous in parts, with a raw, clayey texture, the vineyards are difficult to farm with their surrounding cliffs and canyons.
A blend of Tempranillo (85%) and Malvar (15%), La Maldición "Tinto del Valdilecha" was originally called “Tinto para beber” or “Red to Drink”. It is fermented with natural yeast for 20-25 days without stems and aged in cement. “The fundamental idea is to encapsulate in the wines the landscape and the people who live and work in this land,” said Isart.
The Malvar de Valdilecha is a wine made from the indigenous white grape Malvar. Malvar is a family member of Airen but is more aromatic and with even more acidity than Airen. Malvar produces a looser cluster and has a smaller berry. These are both varietals that do not “take to sugars” and because of the dry climate, alcohol levels can be maintained at a low level. With the stems and skins in the ferment, this is technically an Orange Wine.