January 22nd – I’m excited to announce that Ribera del Duero’s founding winery, Bodegas Protos, has released its inaugural Clarete and Rosé Wines from DO Cigales. This is the first vintage of Clarete and Aire de Protos wines from the newly-built winery in Cigales, Castilla y León.
In 2020 the Protos Cigales Winery was custom-built for Rosé and Clarete – the most technical winery design yet in Cigales
Several things DO Cigales is home to old vines grown at a higher Altitude (up to 2,600ft). The older vines contribute to concentration of the wine and the higher altitude adds a fresh acidity in the wines.
Cigales permits a wide variety of grapes in rosé production, including red Tempranillo, Garnacha and Syrah, plus white Albillo, Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. This allows our oenologists to blend the best characteristics from indigenous and French varieties to create unique and complex wines.
On Shelves – March 2021
Bodegas Protos has produced 100,000 bottles of Clarete and 50,000 of Aire de Protos, to be distributed in 40 countries across Europe, the UK, the US, Canada and South America. Available March 2021 at major US retailers including Wine.com, Saratoga Wine Exchange and Binny’s Beverage Depot.
“We wanted to find the essence of Cigales; to reinterpret its roots and winegrowing traditions. By reimagining the classic Clarete – known for its focus on Tempranillo and red fruit character – we have been able to blend it with French varieties to give it a new, wider range of aromas and flavors.” – Carlos Villar, CEO at Bodegas Protos
Distinct from rosé, Clarete is a long-established wine style, native to Cigales and Ribera del Duero. Clarete is traditionally Tempranillo-based and made using brief skin contact at low temperatures – producing a light, fresh and low-tannin wine (see technical sheet).
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:“Redcurrant pink color with violet hues. Highly fragrant, dominated by fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas. Intense yet balanced on the palate; fresh and fruit-forward with a persistent finish.” – Pedro Martin, Head Enologist at Protos Cigales Winery
Aire de Protos – A Lighter Side to Cigales
“We created Aire de Protos with a more contemporary and international vision – for those wine lovers who prefer pale rosés, but adding our personal touch of complexity in the aromas and palate.” – Carlos Villar, CEO at Bodegas Protos
Cigales has a long history as an appellation for pink wines, but this new paler rosé speaks to the modern wine enthusiast. Aire de Protos is made from old vines and native grape varieties but crafted in a cutting-edge winery, specifically designed for high quality rosé production (see winery profile below).
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
“Pale pink in the glass with purple inflections. Delicate body, with peach, white flowers, red fruit aromas and tropical hints. In the mouth, Aire de Protos is fresh and silky with an elegant acidity, complex fruit profile, and a certain unctuousness due to the lees aging.” – Pedro Martin, Head Enologist at Protos Cigales
“We have invested in a region that has a long tradition of making rosés, with great terroirs and soils – very similar to the Valladolid part of Ribera del Duero.” – Protos CEO Carlos Villar
- DO Cigales, in the heart of Castilla y Léon, hashigher altitudes and a cooler, dry climate – ideal for creating structured rosé wines with fresh acidity.
- Cigales’ old vines(average age over 40 years old) produce concentrated and expressive wines with marked personality.
- On-site laboratoryto analyze color and must quality in real time
- Gravity-flow systemfor grape reception, protecting fruit aromas and must quality
- Nitrogen generator to displace oxygen with inert gas, guarding against oxidation
- Roller separation tableto remove plant debris so that only fruit reaches the press
- Tubular exchangers for cooling grapes and must to 8ºC (preserving aromas and controlling color extraction)
- Separate vinification of must according to quality, color, variety and parcel, allowing for precise blending by oenologists