A Visit to Viñedos y Bodegas Mayo Garcia.

Tiles at the Entrance to the Bodega.

   It is rare to encounter a wine-making genius….and there are those who believe Gabriel Mayo Garcia fits in to this heady category.

Whether it is true has yet to be definitively proved… but the signs are definitely there.

Gabriel took over some 15 years ago  the bodega from which his Grandfather made wine from 1912 onwards. This is little more than a garage built onto the side of a hill in the town of Villafamés in Castellon, with a cave hollowed out of the rock behind where the wines are aged in oak.

Gabriel has access to a number of plots he has planted on the Pla de Vilafamés and wants to plant another 5 hectares. He also has access to an old family plot with a house which in time could be re-planted and create a `pago´and which could also be farmed ecologically.

The bodega currently produces only small amounts of wine , three coupages all with the `Magnanimvs´label.

But don´t go looking for too much information on the label!

Gabriel Mayo Garcia.

 Gabriel has Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel available for his white and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah for the reds. However both the white and the two reds, Gold top and Platinum top are `vinos de autor´, that is an expression of the wine makers style, and sit outside the rules of Vins de Tierra de Castellon IGP authority. As a result his wines are Vino de mesa and contain no information on the varieties, the vintage or the details of the blend. All of which suits Gabriel who will happily tell you some of what is in his wine, and then hint enigmatically that there maybe something else, but steadfastly refuses to say what exactly to avoid anyone else copying his wines!

And this is one of those occasions when you begin to understand that eccentricity and genius sometimes go hand in hand! It is difficult enough making wine which will sell from Castellon given the decline in the winemaking industry, but to deliberately sit outside the rules and then try to sell wine must be like tying one arm behind your back……until you taste these wines!

And the vines have other benefits some may consider eccentric. Former winemaker of the year Mariano Taberner of Bodegas Cueva plays his hang drum to the wines resting in cask in his cellar. He is a great believer in the work of the Japanese photographer Masaru Emotu who played music to water then photographed the molecular response. Google him to see the spectacular results. Gabriel starts the musical treatment in the vineyard and this is currently the subject of a University study into the benefits.

What is clear from the wines that I tasted is that they are perfectly balanced and at peace with themselves!

Three different Coupages of `Magnanimvs´.

  The white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay…and probably something else! To the eye it is pale, with gold flashes and brilliantly clear with long slow legs and 11.5%ABV. On the nose it is floral, white flowers from the Sauvignon and pineapple and passion fruit, the former from the Chardonnay which also adds to the structure. In the mouth the wine is fresh with nice acidity, but the fruit adds balance and it becomes round and full with a long satisfying finish. This is a wine that is perfectly drinkable now but which will still be good in a year and a half. It sells for around 5€ in shops in the village at which it is very good value for money!

The two reds are equally good. The `Serie Oro´or gold top is 13.5% ABV and from the 2008 vintage. Ruby red of medium density it has long slow legs. On the nose there is an immediate touch of oak, ripe red fruit, jammy with smoke and vanilla. In the mouth it is jammy, has a medicinal touch, then smoke, balsamic notes and finally lacteos, leaving a complex spicy fruity mouthful, an easy drinker which is full across the palate with a long finish.

The `Serie  Platino´is similarly a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah with a different coupage. Whatever the differences are it produces an astonishing wine! Dark cherry with ruby flashes, long legs. On the nose it is powerful, with mature fruits of the forest, jam, vanilla, toffee and tobacco leaf. In the mouth full creamy and velvet with a long smooth finish that lasts …and lasts.

In the Garage which Forms the Bodega.

  The Bodega has already received plaudits from those in the know and better qualified than me. ASUCAP, the sumillers association of Castellon and its province gave the Platinum top the `best wine in show´at the recent `Best wines from Castellon´ exhibition.

I don´t know whether Gabriel is a genius but I do know he is making quality wines which others appreciate and value and which should have no difficulty selling all of it which means that with the reds costing around 10 and 15€ respectively for the gold and platinum tops the small production will not be around too long !

The wines are available in  shops and restaurants in Vilafamés or from Dorado wines.


www.magnanimvs.com or www.doradowines.com

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