Borja Perez - Canary Islands

I tawt I taw a putty tat
I think Eldad Levy's manifest requires him to carry a quota of wines from volcanic soil in his portfolio. When Etna's Terre Nere reduced allocation, he looked for an alternative. And found one in Tenerife, where Borja Perez has been making wine from indigenous grapes since he took over his family winery is 2011.

I found a great quote by Borja himself that tells everything about how this great winemaker wound up busting tradition while making wines that are fresh and uncontrived, moreish with a backdrop of serious depth, exotic yet as cozy as your own backyard.
Although Tenerife boasts a long wine history, it is pretty worthless because we have been making things badly for 20 years.
And here's one that nails his approach to sustainable wine growing and biodnyamics, an approach that maintains a level, empirical head about the whole thing.
I’m not a Taliban. If the vines need to be treated, I’ll do it. And if I can clear weeds with a tractor, why would I do it by hand?”
The Artifice range is the entry level, grapes purchased from growers who maintain a small production from old vines

Ycoden Daute Isora, Artífice Tinto, 2017

Listán Negro, Baboso and Vijariego Negro

Believe me, you've never tasted anything this vibrantly tasty since the last time you drank your first ever really good Beaujolais Cru. If anything, the acidity is even finer and more joyous. The Tinto sports gorgeous red fruit that is accompanied by aromas and aftertaste of fresh meat (If you think I mean brett, then you should apologize. I believe the meaty character comes from the grapes. If I'm wrong, though, then the strain of brettanomyces in the Canary Islands is a particularity hygienic yeast because there's nothing malodorous here at all). Best of all is an intoxicating floral note which will make you think of Chambolle and a bong. (June 20, 2019)

120 NIS.

Two whites, more complex and interesting than you'd expect from islanders.

Ycoden Daute Isora, Artífice, Listán Blanco, 2017

Listan Blanco is actually Jerez' Palomino Fino, but there's no way of making a comparison with sherry. The closest parallel I can think of are Portuguese whites. It has a similar crazed bouquet of exotic minerals and fruit. But the palate is even spicier and more herbal than those Iberian counterparts, with a long, intense, salty finish. A jaw dropper, one that may prove too extreme for some, but sometimes you just need to get away from the day to day. (June 21, 2019)

120 NIS.

Ycoden Daute Isora, Artífice, Vidueños, 2017

A blend of white varieties Marmajuelo (30%), Gual (30%), Albillo Criollo (30%) and Listán Blanco (10%) vinified separately and blended in foudre.

This, too, is a very extreme white wine. The minerals are almost sulfurous, so much so that a mind with a poetic bent might think of brimstone, before noticing the apple peel and lime beneath the surface (as well as a leafy greenness - think young Gruner Veltliner). While the fruit profile is less exotic than the varietal Listán Blanco, it also is not a wine for a conservative drinker, but because it's a little more focused than the Listán Blanco, it's easier to come to terms with. (June 23, 2019)

130 NOS.

Eldad also brings in a varietal Babosa Negro (cute name for a grape, and none of us are going to be quizzed about this, no worries) from Perez' premium series, Ignios Orígenes. I'll hold off on that and wait for Eldad to hold a tasting. It's not a cheap wine and, regardless of the price, I really want to hang on to the magic a bit longer.