Pulchrum Crespiello 2012
Made from the native variety Vidadillo de Almonacid, known as Crespiello in the 12th century, which comes from a vineyard planted in 1900, on very chalky soil. It was one of the first plantations grafted after the phylloxera, and the only one that remains standing from that period. In other words, it comes from a very old variety and from one of the oldest vineyards in Aragon.
The wine was gently micro-oxygenated during 2013. Subsequently, it was aged in 300 L fine grain French oak barrels for 30 months. Subsequently, it was aged in 400 L second-use barrels.
1500 L of the best barrels were selected and 2102 bottles were bottled in June 2017.
Golden Zarcillo Award 2021
Golden Zarcillo Award 2018
Type of wine Tinto, larga crianza
Company BIOENOS, SL
Winery Almonacid de la Sierra (Zaragoza)
Age of the vineyard Planted in 1900.
Soil Chalky, stony
Altitude 500 metres
Surface area 2,2 Has
Productive vines 3.500
Variety Vidadillo (Crespiello)
Water regime Dry farming – rainfed crop
Yield 1.2 Kg/vine
When tannins are ripe
Oenologist José Pascual Gracia Romeo
According to professors Boubal and Galet of the INRA of Montpellier, it is one of the oldest varieties they have seen, due to the peculiar shape of the shoots, which display great evenness in the distance between knots.
Historical reports of this variety reveal that it has been planted in Aragon since the 12th century. The same documentation includes “the gengibera” (tempranillo), and the crucillón (the old name for the cariñena); paradoxically, there is no mention of the garnacha. And the vidadillo appears with the name of crespiello, which in later documents started to be called “vidadico” and later on, vidadillo. (1,2)
In the variety collection of the Finca El Encín of the INIA, there are four vidadillo plantations, with four different names: “garnacha de grano gordo”, “garnacha basta”, vitadillo, and vidadillo.
The plant called vitadillo was sent to the collection from Huelva. The rest were sent from different parts of Aragon, except for Cariñena.
When the lists of varieties with their synonyms and their classification as quality varieties and improving varieties were published in the 1980s, the vidadillo was left off the list, even of the varieties suitable for table wine.
In Almonacid de La Sierra, it was said that the Vidadillo “was a companion”, because it is a variety with very regular production, and also grows in the most arid lands.
From the 18th century to the end of the 19th century it was widespread throughout the whole of Aragon. When phylloxera arrived, there was a great demand for wines with high alcohol content, and its cultivation decreased, giving way to the garnacha.
In Almonacid de La Sierra it has always been presented in a residual way, and the wines from Almonacid always had a fresh and fruity tone, different from the rest of the area; I thought this touch was provided by the garnacha planted in the Sierra; but when I went to work at Covinca (Almonacid and Longares), I was surprised to find that the Sierra was planted with white grapes, and that the garnacha was at an altitude of 400 m, so there was something that communicated that slight touch, and when I asked about the existence of another red variety, I was told that they had 25% of a variety called vidadillo, which was very bad, and that they were gradually removing it. And I asked them if we could separate it. And when it began to ferment, the characteristic but concentrated scent of Almonacid wines emerged. And that’s when the road to its recovery began.
In 2002, faced with the inconvenience of producing grapes from old vines, I bought a vidadillo vineyard of 4000 vines planted in 1900, possible the first grafted vineyard in the Cariñena DO after the phylloxera. I started to sell the Pulchrum, as “garnacha de grano gordo”, and it began to get rated, and its authorisation process was speeded up.
In November 2008 the use of Vidadillo was finally authorised as a variety suitable for table wine, and in July 2009, the Government of Aragon and the Regulatory Council of the Cariñena Designation of Origin authorised its inclusion in the list of varieties suitable for wine with Designation of Origin.
In the Viticulture books by Pacottet(1), in the History of the Political economy of Aragon by Ignacio Jordán de Assó (2), and in the Archives of La Seo, it is stated that in the 12th century it was called Crespiello, then later it changed to Vidadico, and finally Vidadillo.
Prior preparation for good grape ripening
Before veraison, the potential production is evaluated, and the approximate canopy surface area is measured, the appropriate amount of produce to be left is calculated, and clusters are removed, as soon as the tempranillo starts to change colour. This allows the grape to reach a good level of phenolic ripening.