El Vínculo Alejairén
DO La Mancha
The 2014 vintage has rich flavors of fresh apricot, vanilla bean, honey and crème brûlée in both the nose and on the palate.
The 2014 vintage began as a warm and rainy year. January and February were warmer than usual and marked by frequent rainfall. Temperatures in March and April returned to their pleasant norms, with more rain falling towards the middle of spring than in previous vintages. Both May and June received sporadic showers, providing the vineyards an additional water reserve for the hot and dry Castilian summer that followed. In a vintage with an excellent harvest both in terms of quality and quantity, the 2014 Alejaireén is a brilliant example of what exceptional old-vine Airén can produce when hand-crafted and barrel-aged.
Lying in the warmest region of the four Fernández estates, the grapes at El Vínculo are the first to be harvested. Each of the leased vineyard blocks are manually harvested towards the beginning of September and are vinified separately. Alcoholic fermentation of the white Airén grapes takes place between 6-10 days at an average temperature of 20-25°C. The finished Alejairén is then aged for 24 months in fine grain, 225- and 300-liter neutral American oak barrels with a light-to-medium toast. With the Fernández family dedicated to natural winemaking, all wines produced by Alejandro Fernández are neither filtered nor fined before bottling. Upon completion of barrel aging, the Alejairén is then aged for a minimum of twelve months in bottle before it is released to the market.
100% Airén. Acidity 4.5 g/L. Alcohol 14.0%.
While on vacation to visit La Mancha’s emblematic windmills that inspired Cervantes to write Don Quixote, Alejandro was surprised to discover 100-year-old, head-pruned Tempranillo (aka Cencibel) vines amidst a sea of white Airén grapes. Convinced he must undertake one last bodega in the historic village of Campo de Criptana in La Mancha, El Vínculo was born. By signing long-term leases with the town’s three best grape growers, and carefully controlling both the yield (50% of fruit is dropped each year) and harvest time (his grapes are harvested two weeks on average after the rest), Alejandro ensured that both the Airén and Tempranillo grapes he had discovered in La Mancha could result in wines that achieve his standards of excellence.