Capataces/Guardians of History: Francisco & Fernando Asencio
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, andalucia
Fran & Fernando have been lovers of Jerez their entire lives and their affinity to all-things Sherry, flamenco, history, and comida de Andalucia all shine through in their dedication to this project. When I first visited Fran I had no intention of doing business. I simply had to see what other friends/winemakers told me was one of wine history's best kept secrets. Fran and his brother, Fernando are carrying the enormous weight of maintaining the legacy of Jerez's oldest and most cherished wines in their newly acquired cellar. They're champions of vinos veijísmos all the while cherishing and putting one of the region's most complex yet refreshing wines: a Manzanilla Madura, on the map. Their eyes are to the future while learning of deep past in the bodega/vineyards. As if maintaining the integrity of these cellars/naves is not enough, Fran & Fernando are starting to work vineyards biodynamically, aging wines with natural flor, sans fortification via the soleado method used in the early 1800s, and testing various vessels for fermentation of single vineyards: an eye towards the future, indeed. Fernando and Fran don't see the big picture, they see the ENTIRE picture, enchanted by the mystical flavors of ancient, yodo-ridden elixirs while deeply probing future possibilities within the comarca de Jerez. These Sherries have dumbfounded professionals, aficionados, collectors, and enthusiasts - unlike wines anywhere else on the planet.