Wine of the Week – El Indio El Cepillo 2015
“The fruit that went into EL INDIO – EL CEPILLO was sourced from a vineyard 3,700 feet above sea level in El Cepillo which is located in the southern Uco Valley. My colleague, Alejandro Sejonovich, discovered this vineyard even before he started working at Catena Zapata. It was 1992 and a great frost hit the entire country, nearly wiping out the grape harvest. Alejandro was an intern at Chandon and his boss told him his only task was to find fruit. He was driving through a deserted part of the Southern Uco Valley and noticed a dirt path heading up into the mountains. He decided to follow it and discovered an old vine, pergola trained vineyard. To his disbelief, the vineyard was undamaged by the frost. It was so high and on such a steep slope that the cold air from the frost passed right down through it. He quickly negotiated for the purchase and became one of the stars of the vintage on the vineyard management team. He continued to buy fruit from that vineyard throughout his career at Catena and it was the first vineyard we put into the Buscado Vivo O Muerto portfolio.” – Jeff Mausbach, Proprietor At Buscado Vivo O Muerto
Terroir: Located at 3,700 feet of elevation, El Cepillo is located in the southern Uco Valley in the county of San Carlos.
Vinification: Micro – fermented in plastic harvest bins, concrete eggs, and small concrete tanks with natural yeasts at a maximum temperature of 69.8oF for 16 days. All manual cap management with 6 punching downs per day.
Tasting Notes: A co-ferment of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo from El Cepillo—one of the coldest parts of San Carlos in the Valle de Uco—the 2015 El Indio El Cepillo displays aromas of red fruit, herbs and a touch of chocolate. This is a full-bodied, elegant wine that is drinking beautifully now. A perfect compliment to beef stew on a cold winter night.
About Jeff and Alejandro
Buscado Vivo O Muerto (Wanted Dead or Alive) is an ambitious project founded by Alejandro Sejonovich and Jeff Mausbach, long-time colleagues at the highly regarded Argentinian winery, Catena Zapata.
Their goal for the project was to search for new, frontier vineyard sites in the Uco Valley, locations high up in the Andes foothills where no one was working. Their search was long, extensive and often frustrating. It felt like -pursuing something evasive, difficult to define. But Alejandro and Jeff perservered – determined to find it, DEAD OR ALIVE.
To learn more about BUSCADO VIVO O MUERTO, check out our interview with Jeff Mausbach here.