Vina Sastre Flavus Blanco


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Viña Sastre is an iconic, family-run winery in the heart of Ribera del Duero, famous for making long-lived, elegantly structured wines from organic, old-vines grown near the Duero river. Flavus is an incredible, singular white wine made from indigenous cayetana blanca grapes from 100-year-old vines, selected from Sastre’s historic Pago de Santa Cruz vineyards at 800m to 840m for their complexity and ability to age gracefully. Sastre handcrafts classic wines through extremely low-yielding biodynamic farming methods, fermenting exclusively with native yeasts.

In Pago de Santa Cruz, a small amount of white cayetana blanca grapes have always existed alongside the red tempranillo, co-planted and traditionally mixed into the field blend destined to be one of Spain’s most iconic wines. Through Jesús Sastre’s good friend and Rías Baixas pioneer Gerardo Méndez, they first researched and separated the white grapes from the blend, making the first Flavus in 2007 to make a simple, charming white wine for near-term consumption. Ribera del Duero does not have much of a tradition for white wines, so the initial concept was to make something simple and humble. Instead, it was discovered through the cellaring and consistent tasting of verticals of Flavus over the years that the wine is capable of improving in bottle for a decade or more, leaving tasters stunned by the unique, complex flavors which develop. There is no designation for Ribera del Duero blanco, so while this mighty blanco may be a “Reserva” qualitatively and spiritually bureaucratically, it carries the humble Vino de Mesa designation. Perhaps in the future, the appellation will see the same possibilities for value and quality in their white wines as their more famous reds.

Vintage Notes – In 2018, Ribera del Duero bounced back with a more generous crop and a more even growing season than in 2017. There was ample rain through the winter and spring, and although there were some isolated cases of frost, these were minor compared to 2017. Vines in frost-affected areas produced fruit, albeit in modest quantities. Incidences of mildew were absent, as conditions were generally dry, and the key ripening period leading up to harvest was also problem-free. Temperatures were lower than usual during July but above average in September and October with fine weather for the entire harvest, which was longer than usual, starting in mid-September and continuing through October. 2018 produced fresher wines with good acids, excellent fruit definition, and good aging potential.

Vinification – Following a manual harvest, the wine spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel. No malolactic fermentation. The wine was racked and aged in stainless steel for ten months, followed by two years of bottle age.

  • Vino de Mesa

  • Site: La Horra: Pago de Santa Cruz at 800m to 840m

  • Grapes: Cayetana Blanca

  • Vine Age: 100+ years old

  • Soil: Clay calcareous

  • Vinification: Spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts in stainless steel

  • Aging: One year in stainless steel tanks, 24 months in bottle before release

  • Farming: Practicing Organic, Practicing Biodynamic

  • Vegan: Yes


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