As well as their work in pioneering the whites of Galicia, Luciano Amoedo and Katia Álvarez of Martín Códax also make this red wine in Bierzo. The Bierzo DO lies further inland from Rías Baixas, with a slightly warmer climate where Mencía is the native variety.
The discovery of four bear footprints in a magnificent vineyard in the highest areas of the Bierzo inspired the name of this wine - Cuatro Pasos or Four Steps. It is a 100% Mencía from grapes chosen from the over 80 year old vines found in vineyards located in the high areas of the Bierzo region. Yields are 35 hectolitres per hectare.
2016 surpassed expectations, having started with rain and potential issues with mildew during flowering, it improved with spectacular weather in August. Hot, sunny days allowed grapes to ripen well and a healthy harvest was produced.
Grapes were picked by hand in 20 kilogram crates and then selected from a sorting table. They were then destemmed and crushed. Pre-fermentative maceration took place at 12ºC and alcoholic fermentation at 24-26ºC. The wine spent an extended period on the skins post-fermentation and was then aged for 6-7 months in French oak (75%) and American oak (25%) before filtering and bottling.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Cuatro Pasos Black Bierzo Mencía 2016 - fiche technique
This wine is intense morello cherry red in colour with a wide rim. It has an excellent blend of red fruit notes, toasted spicy and smoked notes. It is full-bodied and balanced, with well-integrated tannins and a mineral finish.
ABV = 13.5%.