Malcolm Jolley talks to Fernando Gimenez Alvear about Montilla-Moriles…

Fernando Gimenez Alvear and Álvaro Ruiz Lopez from Alvear.

Fernando Gimenez Alvear shares his name with the wine house he presides over, Bodegas Alvear, established in 1729. Alvear is in Montilla, one of the two villages south of Cordoba that make up the DO Montilla-Moriles. Montilla-Moriles shares much in common with Andalucia’s most famous region to the southwest, Sherry, in terms of methods of production and styles of wines, not least Amontillado. But it also has some key differences. For one thing the grape used is different: Pedro Ximenez. The terroir is also different: further from the sea, but also higher in altitude, so hotter days and cooler nights. Pedro Ximenez, or ‘PX’, can withstand the withering heat and produce fruit ripe enough that much of Montilla-Moriles wines, like Alvear’s Fino, are left unfortified.

Mr. Alvear was in town recently, with Alvear’s regional manager Álvaro Ruiz Lopez, to promote a very specific wine from Montilla: the 3 Miradas Cerro Macho 2017. 3 Miradas, means three views, and this wine is sourced from one of three high altitude (ca. 600m) vineyards, Cerro Macho, close to the winery. Although it’s a new wine project, the 2017 is only the second vintage made, it’s made to emulate what the Alvear family believes were typical Montilla wines before the 18th century and the introduction of barrels and solera systems. Fermented in 3,000 litre ‘tinaja’ concrete vats and then ‘rested’ in neutral barrels, the Cerro Macho is reminiscent of a fino, with a good seasoning of salinity, but also fuller in fruit (apples and citrus) and characterized by a strong line of acidity. It’s a wine that wants food. Senior Alvear was kind enough to sit for the video interview below, where he explains more about his family’s winery and the 3 Miradas project. The 3 Miradas project by nature is small production and a small allotment of it has been secured by Alvear’s Ontario agency, Family Wine Merchants.

Email versions of this post won’t embed videos. Click here to see the video at GFR.