La Bodega de Juan Romero is located in the oft-neglected Extremadura region of Spain. The estate was first established to produce wine to be sold exclusively to the family bar in the 1950s. With every subsequent generation, the Romero family found a way to stand out in a sea of conventional grape growing. In the 1970s they expanded their vineyards by mixing indigenous varietals such as Cayetana Blanca with experimental plantings such as Gewürztraminer. Then, in the 1990s, they converted to organic farming, a rarity in Extremadura even today.
In recent years, winemaker and owner Juan Leandro Romero has become more and more interested in natural wine and launched PRELVM, a line of natural wines spontaneously fermented and aged in locally-crafted clay amphorae and made according to non-interventionist concepts: no filtering or fining, nor any added sulfur. He is blazing a trail in a region that deserves our attention!
Type: ORANGE WINE | Variety: Skin-Contact Macabeo | Additional info: organic, spontaneous fermentation, amphora-aged, no fining/filtering, no added S02
olives. On the palate: a richer, more complex orange wine, with a mix of zest but lots of fall and winter spices: clove, allspice, black pepper. A nice, warming orange wine.
Lagrimas de Garnacha
Type: RED WINE | Variety: Garnacha aka Grenache | Additional info: organic, spontaneous fermentation, amphora-aged, no fining/filtering, no added S02
Sourced from Garnacha vineyards that are over 30 years old, these hand-harvest grapes are brought to the winery, where the must will macerate on the skins for a few hours before undergoing a direct press. It is then transferred to the locally-made clay amphorae, where the wine will ferment using indigenous yeasts for about 10 days. The wine is then transferred to separate clay amphorae, which are lined by beeswax harvested on the estate, where it will age for another 6+ months. No fining, filtering or added sulfur.
This wine has all of the qualities of “CHILLED RED,” fruity, feisty and exciting. It acts as a really fun wine to offer up when someone wants a wine with structure and character but still wants something juicy and easy-drinking.
Cantos de Sirena
Type: SPARKLING WINE | Variety: 90% Beba, 10% Gewürztraminer Pet-Nat | Additional info: organic, spontaneous fermentation, amphora-aged, no fining/filtering, no added S02
Made from the obscure local grape called Beba or Eva (which has a curious history in that a Beba vine was offered by Louis IV’s ambassador to King Narai of Siam, where it became the start of a flourishing grape industry in Thailand), along with some Gewürztraminer that was planted by Juan’s father.
The two varieties of grapes ferment in separate vats and only toward the end of the spontaneous fermentation are the musts combined and bottled. It is then transfered to the cellar and stored horizontally as the end of the fermentation produces the natural carbon dioxide of these wines aka ancestral method aka Pet Nat. Unfined, unfiltered, without chemical inputs, without added sulfur.
It has a beautiful golden yellow color. On the nose it reminds of white fruits, pineapple, grapefruit. On the palate, there’s an explosion of flavors: equally fruity and sweet, as it is herbal and smoky. A unique Pet Nat that becomes a thrilling bottle to share with friends.