The wines of Bodegas Frontonio, Aragón, Spain
Fernando Mora was in town presenting the exciting wines of Bodegas Frontonio. An engineer-turned-winemaker, he and his partner in the project (oenologist Mario López) are making elegant, vineyard-driven wines from Valdejalón in the Aragón region of Spain.
The focus of Frontonio is to work from this relatively unknown region’s stock of old vines. They both own vineyards and purchase grapes from local growers.
The range is tiered. Not tried here are the village-level wines under the Microcosmico label. Then with the X on the label there are the premier cru wines, and then the Grand Cru wines with the wax capsules. And above all this, we have the El Jardín de las Iguales, which is their prized single vineyard, with some plots planted between 1898 and 1908, and others planted 1918-1920. This pair of wines is also ambitiously priced at around €200 a pop, but they are beautiful.
‘We need to fight against low acidity and excess of fruit,’ says Mora. This is done by early picking, co-fermentations of red and white grapes where they occur in the same plot, and the use of whole bunches for reds.
The winery, used for all the wines since 2019, is in a 200 year old house and has three levels, enabling them to work with gravity. There’s wood (large format and also smaller barrels) as well as cement. The approach is one of minimal intervention.
Bodegas Frontonio Laloma y Las Santos 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
This is a Garnacha Blanca dominated blend, with the balance Macabeo. Lively and mineral with a juicy citrus quality and a lovely mineral lemony acid note on the finish, with a touch of salinity. Very fine and pure. 93/100
Bodegas Frontonio El Jardín de las Iguales Macabeo 2019 Aragon, Spain
This vineyard, on northwest-facing slate soils, was planted between 1898 and 1908. Very delicate and fine and quite textural with amazing citrus purity. Has a saline twist with a grainy, mineral quality and nice intensity. 94/100
Bodegas Frontonio Supersónico Garnacha 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
90 year old vines planted at 1030 m with slate soils. There’s a bit of Macabeo co-planted and this ends up in the wine. 100% whole bunch with 70 days maceration, and then ageing for 14 months in 500 litre barrels. Very light and fine with lovely elegance. This is pure with nice texture, and also a really appealing tension with fullness, supple fruit and good structure. Very fine, and good value for this quality level. 94/100
Bodegas Frontonio Psicodélico 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
This is a very old vineyard with several varieties in it – three whites and four reds – and they are all picked together on the same day and co-fermented. The challenge here is that they are a mix of shorter and longer cycle grapes. This has amazing texture with fresh red cherries and raspberries, as well as some citrus pith and nice firm structure from the tannins and the acidity. Fine, with lovely purity and a tart finish. 93/100
The next two wines come from two adjacent vineyards that are the same age with sedimentary pre-Cambrian soils, but one has more quartzite and one more slate. They are much more affordable than the Las Iguales wines, but in the same peer group.
Bodegas Frontonio La Cerqueta 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
From soils with more slate. Garnacha, Garnacha Peluda and some whites. 100% stems with 90 days maceration, aged in foudre. Lovely texture here with fine red cherries and good tannins. Light, expressive and almost Nebbiolo-like with a hint of aniseed. Stony notes on the finish. Light and expressive but with some substance. 95/100
Bodegas Frontonio La Terjera 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
Mainly Garnacha with some Macabeo, from soils that are more quartzite. This is very textural with a lively acid line and good structure. Grainy, with precise structure and a linear quality to the red cherry, red currant and
raspberry fruit. Fresh, linear and dynamic. 95/100
Bodegas Frontonio El Jardin de las Iguales Garnacha 2020 Valdejalón, Spain
Garnacha from a north-facing slope planted 1918-1920. Fermented In concrete with 100% whole bunch. Harvested 4 September then pressed January into 450 litre barrels. Supple, fine and elegant with lovely juicy cherry fruit. Has a hint of almond and bright lemon and orange peel notes. Fine and bright with compact structure. 95/100
UK agent: Bancroft https://bancroftwines.com/vendors/bodegas-frontonio/
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