Rafa Bernabé Flor De La Mata 2014

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Alicante, Levant, Spain
Moscatel & Merseguera
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites

Rafa Bernabé retired from a long, celebrated and incredibly humble career of winemaking a couple of years ago, before handing over the reins to Vinessens. This delicious cuvée from 2014 is the very last of the bottles we have with his name on them. Rafa liked to experiment with skin macerations and tinaja - the Spanish equivalent of a clay amphora, or qvevri. Maturation in these vessels allows the wine to micro-oxygenise in a very specific way, as well as the contact with the earthenware materials lending the finished wine a distinctly granular texture. Here we have aromatic varietals Moscatel & Merseguera macerated on the skins for a month and then matured in tinaja for two years with nothing added to the wine whatsoever. During this time a flor (a veil of wild, airborne yeast) was allowed to form on the surface of the wine, something which is a clear nod to the style of winemaking in Jerez that produces particularly fine sherries using the nutty salinity the flor provides too. So expect huge floral aromatics, an incredible amber/copper colour to the wine and deeply savoury oxidative notes that appear before the flor seals the surface. Sadly once our last few bottles are gone there will be no more. Salud, Rafa!