Malasombra - 2017
92 Points - Parker
Malasombra is 100% Graciano from Rioja Oriental. In Luis’ own words, “Of all the grape varieties, Graciano is the most chameleon-like, it takes on and expresses its terroir beautifully. Though it’s a difficult variety to cultivate, here in Rioja Oriental is where it truly shines. The area has a generous amount of sunlight which is ideal for Graciano’s long growing cycle.”
The longer growing cycle is what allows Malasombra to really take on and express the properties of the soil. Malasombra is certified organic, low-intervention, and as Luis likes to say “Vino puro y sin maquillar” (pure wine, without makeup).
Predominant aromas of ripe red and dark fruit, blueberry, mulberry, and floral notes of violet. Citric acidity with a bit of kick, typical of Graciano. All the initial intensity is caressed by gentle notes of toasted oak giving the wine more balance, roundness, and taming its rustic character. The finish is powerful and long-lasting.
According to Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate magazine LMT Wines is considered "one of the very exciting new projects in Navarra". Navarra is the region sandwiched between La Rioja, Basque Country, Aragon, and the southern border of France. Internationally, it's best known for the Fiestas de San Fermín which occur every year in the capital of Pamplona.
L, M , and T are quite simply the initials of the excellent winemaker behind this project, Luis Moya Tortosa.
Luis likes to call himself a "Nomadic Winemaker" since, as of yet, he doesn't own any vineyard. Instead, he moves through the land, finding and reviving old vineyards in Navarra, predominantly of Garnacha, and in the area of Rioja bordering Navarra, where he also works with the Graciano variety. He rents the spaces in which he makes his nomadic wines.
For now, Luis works with 5 hectares of very old vineyards in various areas, producing about 12,000 bottles of wine a year, some of them together with his good friend and winemaker, Gonzalo Celayeta.
Annual Production: 1200 bottles (The club has access to 100 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: fruity, long, and intense
Grape Variety: 100% Graciano
Viticulture / Farming: Certified Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
Ageing: 12 months in used 500-liter oak barrels
Winemaker: Luis Moya Tortosa
Bodega: LMT Wines
Region: near Andosilla, in Rioja Oriental
Designation of Origin: DOC Rioja
Micro-Climate: Continental - hot and dry summers and cool/mild in the winters
Elevation: 360 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 32 years old (vineyard planted in 1990)
Soil: clay and limestone, with round river stones on the surface from the nearby Ega river
- Drink now or keep for up to 10 years
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 15-20 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, typical Spanish dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at 16 Celsius
The Malasombra vineyard is located near the town of Andosilla, right on the border between Navarra and Rioja in Northern Spain. The vineyard faces South, allowing for maximum sun exposure, perfect for getting the ideal ripeness out of the Graciano grapes which have a long growing cycle. The soil is mostly calcareous clay with round cobble-sized river stones on the surface from the erosion of the nearby Ega river. In Andosilla, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are cold and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 2°C to 30°C and is rarely below -2°C or above 36°C.
Malasombra undergoes maceration with skins for 60 days and cold natural fermentation in stainless steel vats. The fermentation happens spontaneously driven by the grape's natural yeasts and bacteria.
Luis’ goal with this wine is to extract all the strong fruit flavours of the Graciano while minimizing any vegetal notes. The wine undergoes natural malolactic fermentación in stainless steel vats and is then aged in 500L used oak barrels for one year.
Low intervention, no clarification or filtration, this is a pure wine “without any makeup” as Luis likes to say.
Luis Moya Tortosa was born in Burlada, a municipality in the outskirts of Pamplona, Navarra's capital.
Right after Luis graduated as Technical Agricultural Engineer, he started to manage and run a bar in Burlada.
As Luis says, he was the one that drank the most wine in that bar, and a large variety of wines, not only from Navarra. This is when he really started to fall in love with the culture of wine.
He began working in the Cooperative Winery of Aibar, a municipality east of Pamplona.
Since he was already fully involved in wine culture he decided to make it official. He enrolled in the Masters of Oenology, Viticulture and Marketing at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).
After achieving his Master's degree, he spent a few years working in research and helping in the production of Navarra's Institutional Wine at the Institute of Oenology and Viticulture (EVENA).
Whilst working at EVENA, he graduated in Oenology at the University of La Rioja, and he completed his studies achieving Level 3 at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET 3).
Then, working as an oenologist at the "Vitivinícola de Cárcar" he began producing his first wine, which was Masusta in 2012.
In Luis' own words translated from Spanish "My passion for the world of wine not only pushes me to produce different wines but also gives me the opportunity to travel to areas that I haven't yet explored and discover terroirs from which I can learn and draw inspiration. My world circles around Navarra and Rioja; in Navarra the Garnachas give me all my joy, and in Rioja the innumerable variety of different terroirs never cease to amaze me."
Ratings & Reviews
92 Points - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
"The 2017 Malasombra is a varietal Graciano from an organically certified plot of one hectare that was planted 25 years ago in the village of Andosilla in Navarra but also within the limits of the Rioja appellation. It fermented with indigenous yeasts with a short maceration, looking for varietal purity. It matured in used 500-liter oak barrels for 12 months. It has a dark color and a nose of dark berries with an earthy touch, with good ripeness and integrated oak. The palate is lively and balanced, it shows good acidity and focused, clean flavors. A good Graciano, not an easy thing to do. 1,200 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2019."