Happy Cinco De Mayo! It’s no secret that we love Mexican food and drinks here at Argaux. From our recent trip to Tulum, to Margaux’s delicious Enchiladas, Nacho Dip or Calabachita stuffed Poblanos and our lucky location in Laguna Beach that affords us a host of Mexican options, we are fully on board with our neighbors to the south.
But what about Mexican wine? As with any up-and-coming region, there is quite a variance, and it takes a lot of work to plod through the bottles to find an amazing pick. Recently, we hit on a winner, and it’s a natural wine, to boot!
This is a great, light barbeque wine, that we are drinking all day. It’s perfect for this time of the year and for an afternoon sip on a Saturday (enter Cinco de Mayo).
The Téllez family moved to Baja from neighboring Sonora (hence the name Bichi, which means “naked” in the Sonoran dialect) in the early 1970’s. Jair is a trained chef who opened his first restaurant in 1999: the pioneering farm-to-table Laja in the Guadalupe Valley With the Mexico City additions of MeroToro and Amaya (offering the country’s first all-natural wine list), Jair is now one of Mexico’s most influential chefs.
Back at the ranch in Tecate, the family planted their Home vineyard in 2004, where Ana Montaño currently oversees the farming and is responsible for converting their vineyard to biodynamics.
No one knows the grape varietal that makes this wine. Can you imagine!? No Sapiens comes from a single, dry-farmed, 69-year-old vineyard comprised of a mysterious grape variety that remains unidentified. The farmer says it could be Dolcetto, Luyt thinks maybe Cariñena due to it’s sharp acidity, no one is quite sure. We love that there is a little bit of mystery in the bottle.
The Spanish conquistadors first planted vines in Mexico in the 1500’s, pre-dating vine growing in both Chile and Argentina. About 90% of Mexico’s wine is produced in Valle de Guadalupe, with many of the oldest vineyards centered around Tecate, very close to the U.S. border. The soils in these regions are mainly sandy loam over granite, excellent for winegrowing, and some of the most distinctive vineyards are planted as high as 2,500 ft in elevation.
This is the most linear of the Bichi wines, with crunchy dark fruit, ample vibrancy and structure. A wine that will get better with time in the bottle. And with 666 cases produced, it’s a little edgy.
It’s what we’ll be drinking this Cinco de Mayo, and well into the summer!
Contact us to get your hands on a bottle!
¡Salud! – ARGAUX