Jose was looking for gold. That hidden home winemaker who could be encouraged to take their talent public. And so, he made inquiries and all of the sudden, thanks to a friend of a friend, we found ourselve atop of Oratova in a small amateur winery with steel tanks five times the size of pasta pots. We weren't sure about those pasta pots, and after the last disaster on Lanzarote, we didn't get our hopes up too high.
It was too dark to go see the vines, so our only hope was to taste them. I thought the 2011 listan negro was enjoyable enough, in fact, I quite liked it, sure, rustic, sure, but still it was acceptable and promising with that LN spice thing and ash going for it. Our host went out of his way to dig up some older vintages, the most successful was, 2005 if trampled upon a bit too much, by a herd of brettanomyces. I could handle it. Too much for José. The next wine wasa wild idea of aguardiente mixed with wine for sweetness. This was a new one to us, and A for creativity.
This was a wild experiment and in all fairness, he wasn't sure if we should taste it. It had gone off, he said. But we pressed him. I forgot which vintage, but probably 2010. Fermented under pressure, on its lees. It was poured and I made José taste it because there was no way it was going to go into my mouth. As I was watching his experience, it was hard not to think about all of those critics out there who believe as long as it's natural, Alice says its delicious. Ah, the old sandbox where macho idiocy reigns over sensibility and humanity, but never mind.
It was a putty gray color from the lees. Yes, it had that microbial pop and everything that those kids in the sandbox think all natural wine is. There it was. We asked him why the keg, and he shrugged his shoulders. An amazing experiment, and the kind, creative gent who created the beast chuckled as he told us he told his wife to use it for cooking wine. Cooking wine? She wouldn't even let it into the house, he said.
With that, thanking them profusely, we went off in search of dinner.