Masusta - 2017
89 Points - Parker
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.
"Masusta" or maxusta, which in Euskera (the Basque language) means blackberry, was the first wine that Luis produced in 2012.
The Garanatxa grapes come from a 65-year-old vineyard in the area of Cárcar (about 65 Km south of Pamplona), by the Ega river. The 1.41 hectares vineyard has a large blackberry bush smack-dab in the middle of it, which is why Luis named the wine Masusta. The vineyard is organically farmed and yields about 3,500 Kg per hectare, which equates to about 1.5 Kg per vine.
As with any wine that Luis Moya produces, Masusta ferments naturally with its own yeasts and in its own bacterial environment. Naturally cold macerated for a few days prior to fermentation which occurs at a controlled temperature in stainless steel vats.
The wine matured for 11 months in a mix of used barrels from American, French and Navarre oak, then it spent a further two winters in the barrels to achieve a natural stabilization. Bottled in August 2019, 2,600 bottles were produced.
The palate is medium-bodied with well-integrated tannins, expressing subtle and delicate aromas of cherries and raspberries, some floral aromas of violets with balsamic touches of aromatic plants.
Annual Production: 2,600 bottles (The club has access to 150 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Long, spicy
Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
Ageing: In used 225 and 500-liter oak barrels for 11 months, then an extra 20 months in the same barrels to stabilize. It was bottled in August 2019
Winemaker: Luis Moya Tortosa
Bodega: LMT Wines
Region: Navarra, Ribera Alta subregion
Designation of Origin: DO Navarra
Micro-Climate: Continental - hot and dry summers and cool/mild in the winters
Elevation: 520 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 65 years old (vineyard planted in 1955)
Soil: Marl, sand and boulder
- Drink now or keep for up to 12 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 area of Cárcar, in the Ribera Alta of Navarra is located south-west of the capital of the province, Pamplona. The vineyard has complex soil and grows in a terraced plantation just above the Ega river, a tributary to the Ebro river, that runs north-south in a valley at about 500 m above sea level. The climate is dry and continental. The vintage - 2017 - was warmer than previous years.
Natural fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 22 Celsius, first in cold maceration for about 2 - 3 days.
The fermentation happens spontaneously driven by the grape's natural yeast and bacteria.
Right after the alcoholic fermentation, the wine is transferred to used barrels of three different oak origins; French, American, and also local oak from Navarra, where it is matured for eleven/twelve months. After that the wine is left to rest in the same barrels for two winters, with the goal of letting it naturally stabilize.
No clarification or filtration is used, and apart from the natural sulfur dioxide (SO2) produced during fermentation, a minimal amount is added before bottling; below 70 mg per liter.
The wine was bottled on the First of August, 2019.
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 oenologist at the "Vitivinícola de Cárcar" he embarked in 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
89 Points - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
"The 2017 Masusta comes from the first vineyard Luis Moya started working, 1.41 hectares of 65-year-old Garnacha between the villages of Carcar and Lerin. The vineyard was converted from head pruned to being trellised on marl and boulder soils that is organically farmed. The wine fermented naturally, and it spent two winters in used barrels, which the winery did to achieve a natural clarification and stabilization. It has ripe fruit and plenty of balsamic aromas, reminiscent of American oak, with an approachable and commercial profile. The palate is medium-bodied and reveals some grainy tannins and balsamic, spicy and smoky flavours. 2,600 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019."