Asenjo Y Manso
Ribera del Duero, Spain
Asenjo & Manso was founded in 2004 in the tiny village of La Horra in Ribera del Duero. Although the Bodega is only thirteen years old, the wines are amazingly deep and complex due to the 20-110 year old family vineyards. Jésus Asenjo (the grandson of Tiofilo Asenjo, who first planted the estate’s vines) has worked in the vineyards his entire life, and tends to the vines himself year-round. Natalia Calleja, the young and dynamic winemaker at Asenjo Y Manso, began as a winery lab technician but soon graduated to head winemaker at the Bodega.
Their production is organic, with official certification in 8.5 hectare of their vineyards. The vineyards, located at 800m in elevation, are planted primarily in clay soils using only bush-trained vines. Fermentations are done in stainless steel using natural yeasts. Natalia has a deft hand with the use of oak, utilizing a mixture of French and American oak barrels and varying the aging time from three months for the Joven to 16 months for the Silvanus Seleccion Limitada.
The Manso in Asenjo Y Manso is the surname of Jésus’s original partner in the winery, Carlos de Pedro Manso, a local distributor with 30 years experience who encouraged Jésus to estate bottle.
Asenjo & Manso Manso Joven Ribera del Duero 2014
Manso Joven is a small production wine made from an assortment of Asenjo & Manso’s youngest estate fruit. It is the first time that the estate has produced a young (joven) wine that sees only three months in oak and is sourced using only their exceptional estate fruit.
As the grapes come into the cellar they are gently de-stemmed and allowed to ferment using only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats. The wine is then moved to used oak barrels where it completes malolactic fermentation. It is then bottled and spends additional three months before release. This is a delicious and eminently gulp-able Ribera del Duero with dark tones of spicy earth, brambly black fruits, and fresh tobacco leaf. This wine is an exciting and fantastic value.
Asenjo & Manso Silvanus Ribera del Duero 2008
The Silvanus is Asenjo & Manso’s flagship wine made with fruit from an 80-year-old vineyard. Named for the Roman god of woods and fields and flocks, the Silvanus is an exceptional wine which marries traditional Ribera del Duero winemaking with the organic vineyard from which it is sourced. After a slow fermentation using only indigenous yeasts, the Silvanus was aged for one year in new oak barrels to give depth of flavor and structure. The wine remains in bottle for an additional year before release, allowing the rich fruit to integrate with the oak. Elegant yet intense on the palate, the wine combines chocolate and cherry with classic notes of leather, tobacco, and spice.