Mauro Bergesio had a dream when he first started to partner in a small parcel of grapes in the drastic mountains of southern Salamanca. He saw remarkable potential in the local grape Rufete, and knew that with the right touch, something truly special could be born in a bottle. Together with his dear friend Ismael Gozalo (a visionary in Spanish winemaking), they have been able to achieve greatness with this grape and Mauro has expanded his holdings to 3 plots for his Rufete. Ismael began 'MicroBio' in an underground cellar of an ancient monastery in 1998 to showcase fruit from his ancient plots of Verdejo and other varieties, while using a barrage of neutral vessels for fermentation and aging, low to no sulfites, and tiny final production numbers each year. Along with Mauro's vines in Salamanca, the farming for MicroBio is guided by a philosophy known as Biosinergías (which predates Steiner's biodynamics by 2,000 years), where nothing happens randomly because the true nature of the earth will show itself from vintage to vintage, and the most important thing is the balance between soil, plant, fruit, and wine. So needless to say, when these two eccentrics met about these vines, 'Rufián' was destined to be something great, and Mauro's dream came true.
bergesio collezione 'rufián'
The Rufian Rufete comes from the western reach of Spain, near Miranda del Castañar in the southern portion of the province of Salamanca. Two very small plots of mixed-vines (5-9 different grapes planted) both share the Rufete grape for this finished wine, which is also known as Tinta Pinheira in Portugal and is said to be the ‘brother’ of Pinot Noir from Burgundy. These grapes must be hand picked when each vine is ripe, as the high elevation of these vineyards causes for remarkable differences even in such small areas. La Cerral is a stunning one-hectare, enclosed vineyard that was planted over 100 years ago on decomposed granite soils, and El Lerial is less than one hectare and at a remarkable height of 900 meters above the sea. A very subtle grape with floral aromatics, the berries are only pressed with feet and hands to aid during the natural fermentation and never uses pumps to keep the cap submerged. The wine rested for nine months in a few used Burgundy barrels, as the time spent is perfect to keep the grape’s fresh expression of fruit, its gorgeous earthy tones, and its natural high acidity in tact.