by | Feb 12, 2021 | Sparkling, White, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

The common expression “every cloud has a silver lining” means that even the worst events or situations have some positive aspect.  Sad or discouraged, knowing there is a “silver lining” has a way of cheering you up and LIRONDO 19  wine will do just that!

Have you ever heard of LLAURADOR WINES? They are importers of wines, dedicated to representing artisanal winegrowers/makers, who are recovering indigenous grapes and discovering forgotten wine regions within Iberia. Their focus on wines from this pocket of Europe are like lost keys, no one knows where they are. Simplistically put:

The Iberian Peninsula is a peninsula in southwestern Europe, shared by Spain and Portugal. Its name originates from its ancient inhabitants whom the Greeks called Iberians. The crawling  Pyrenees Mountain range forms a pirate land barrier in the northeast, separating the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe.

In short, El Llaurador is a cooperative for this selection of wines within Iberia. The most famous man behind LLAURADOR WINE IMPORTS “Selection” is rebel Jose Pastor of JOSE PASTOR SELECTIONS. This Bay Area resident mocks the kiss ass wine critics with their names slutted on store shelves. For over 20 years, Jose Pastor has been the face of fine Iberian wines. He firmly said “ADIOS” to the need to acquire scores just to increase fans. Make no mistake, all of his selections are from regions saturated with tradition from vineyard to winery practices and finally bottling. What’s not disclosed is if he is still passionately the Boss of the selections today. Most wine importers, exporters, and negociants these days are sellouts because it’s survival of the fittest. Supposedly  EVERY bottle is a unique expression of the original creator, not a remake. JOSE PASTOR SELECTIONS, I poetically describe his portfolio to symbolize:  “ Grape farmers that are forever foreign to the land and cultivators of many facets of their heritage”. 


Lirondo is a “natural” white wine made with the Verdejo variety. Verdejo is a white wine grape that has historically been associated with the Rueda region of Spain.  Amusing, however, the grape originated in North Africa and was spread to Rueda in about the 11th Century,  maybe by Mozarabs (Spanish-Christians under Muslim rule). Verdejo was generally used to make a strongly oxidized, Sherry-like wine. Here it comes to you like a cloudy day, but that will put a smile on your face. It generally produces full-body, fruit-forward white wines with intense aromas. Despite their history in oxidized wine production with nutty wines like Sherry, they are in modern  Rueda Verdejo wines. Yet they also display bright citrus and melon characteristics, with high well-balanced acidity and a bounty of freshness.

It comes from the VT Castilla-León Provence. VT (Vino de la Tierra) is literally ‘wine of the land’, and focuses on the origins of the wine, rather than its quality or style. This is a very flexible category within Spain’s strict wine laws.  Lirondo chose to craft the style, but leaving it unfiltered is by no means unique.

Son Manuel Cantalapiedra and his father Isaac set up a family project in 2014 in La Seca Valladolid, in Rueda, the heart of the leading Denomination of Origin for the Verdejo variety. The project is where they ecologically cultivated 51 acres of their own vineyards. Their philosophy on their wines is minimal intervention. There is a lot of controversy about the commercialization of the Verdejo.  Lirondo vineyards stand out for Verdejo in their  “Las Escuclillas” single vineyard. These are old vines planted on silty soils with huge boulders. The grapes enjoy  750 meters of elevation in a severe continental climate.  They are  100% organic/biodynamic and all manually carried out, from vineyard to winery. If that is not enough to convert you into a disciple of this wine, here more for you.  They almost massage the grapes when pressing, then the juice spends 12 hours in contact with the skins,  ferments in stainless steel tanks with native yeasts, and spends 8 months on lees. FINALLY, Lirondo is bottled without being clarified, filtered, or adding sulphur. WOW! Lirondo is the SOLO project of Manual, his son of Isaac Cantalapiedra. 

Lirondo 2018 is a fruity white wine with aromas of white fruit, citrus, floral notes, and herbaceous touches. On the palate, it is fresh, slightly sweet, and sour. It almost has a PET-NAT personality, yet much fresher fruit and pure sunshine. It has a fantastic acidity with fine minerality and balsamic notes. Easy to drink and with a finish that defines a long silver lining. It leaves you guessing what tomorrow could bring if you didn’t finish the bottle. But why not enjoy it all in one day, after all, tomorrow may never come.

Unlike Icon actor James Dean from the legendary movie “REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE”. Jose Pastor is my rebel WITH a cause. Tasting wine is a pleasure and these types of artisanal wines arrived on your palate with clarity


Hope you enjoyed my article, please comment below Love your feedback.
Thank you and remember Taste Small Live Big!
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