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Bodegas Cinco Léguas

Organic, High-Country Madrid

­­Based in the medieval town of Chinchón, Marc Isart is doing great things with Malvar and Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) in the rocky highlands southeast of Madrid. Having completed his mission with Bernabeleva, Marc is now wholly focused on his family project, which he has renamed Bodegas Cinco Léguas (previously La Maldición). The new name refers to a 16th-century law that allowed any wine produced within a radius of ‘five leagues’ from the capital to be served at the court of Madrid.
 
Marc and wife Carmen work with 12 parcels of old-vine Malvar and Tinto Fino—specifically the Tinto de Madrid clone—spread across three villages in the Arganda subzone of the Vinos de Madrid D.O.: Chinchón, Belmonte de Tajo and Colmenar de Oreja. All the vineyards lie at 700-800 metres above sea level, benefiting from the large diurnal shifts common to the area. As you travel west from the subzone of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, granitic soils give way to clay and limestone, with a number of the Isart vineyards stained red by the high ironstone content. 

“My goal is to produce grower wines,” explains Isart. “Wines that are more savoury than sweet. Wines that are hard to stop drinking.”


 As you can imagine, the wines are different from those Isart crafted at Bernabeleva. Yet applied here, Isart’s precise organic viticulture, pick-on-freshness approach and artisanal winemaking techniques result in wines that are as juicy and fresh as they are delicious. 
 
The vines are organically or biodynamically raised and the grapes harvested by hand. The Malvar whites are drawn from varied sites and are crafted in a range of vessels, including concrete, amphora and neutral oak. Malvar (aka Lairén, and not to be confused with the ubiquitous Airén grape) is a variety that tends to give wines with good acidity and aromas of citrus and bitter almonds. Isart's interpretations each offer a variation on a theme of mouthcoating texture fused with deep citrus and mineral vibrancy. All the whites see a measure of skin contact, reflecting the traditional techniques used by Spanish farmers in this part of Spain. 
 
 In a region where many reds are made for impact, the wines of Cinco Léguas offer a refreshing distraction. His Tinto Fino is a wine bar-friendly blend of 80% mature-vine Tempranillo complemented by local white grape Malvar, which brings lip-smacking freshness. Isart’s Rompecepas is an old-vine varietal Tinto Fino: entirely destemmed and aged in used 500-litre oak barrels, it is a deeper and more mouth-filling expression of the high-country vineyards east of Madrid.

Currently Available

Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid Rompecepas Tinto Fino 2019

Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid Rompecepas Tinto Fino 2019

Organic. A terrific new addition to Marc Isart’s Cinco Leguas label (nee La Maldición). This wine sees Isart working with the old Tinta de Madrid clone of Tempranillo. The old vines are rooted in calcareous loam (with lots of red clay on the surface) of the Madrid mountain villages of Colmenar de Oreja and Chinchón, and includes a parcel of fruit from the brilliant El Socorro vineyard.  In a region where many reds are made for impact, the wines of Cinco Léguas offer a refreshing distraction. “My goal is to produce grower wines,” explains Isart. “Wines that are more savoury than sweet. Wines where it is hard to stop drinking…”  Entirely destemmed and aged in used 500-lire oak barrels, this a deeper and more mouth-filling expression of high-country Madrid than this producers ‘Tinto Fino’ bottling.  

Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid Rompecepas Tinto Fino 2019
Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid La Maldición Tinto Fino 2021

Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid La Maldición Tinto Fino 2021

Organic. Sometimes it’s good to let the winegrower do the talking. Here’s Marc Isart: “So many wines are made just for impact, but you can only drink one glass of them. My goal is to produce grower wines. Wines that can be drunk daily. Wines that are more savoury than sweet. Wines where it is hard to stop drinking.”  Isart’s old, low yielding bush vines lie around the small village of Valdilecha, and his estate is named after the historic nickname of the area—La Maldición: ‘the curse’. It was called this by the locals as it was so difficult to eke out a living from such isolated, high-altitude rocky soils. Applied here, Isart’s organic viticulture, pick-on-freshness, natural yeast, lo-fi regime results in wines that are as juicy and fresh as they are delicious, yet they are certainly more straight-shooting and thirst quenching in style than the Bernabeleva wines; a reality that is reflected in their pricing.Now simply labelled Tinto Fino (the wine was previously called Tinto de Valdilecha), this is a blend of 80% mature-vine Tempranillo (from Valdilecha at 780 metres) with the local white grape Malvar (from Belmonte at a similar altitude) making up the balance. The vines are all biodynamically reared and the grapes hand-harvested. Both varieties were co-fermented with natural yeasts, then the wine spent 20-25 days on skins and was aged in cement and stainless-steel tanks. 

Bodegas Cinco Léguas Vinos de Madrid La Maldición Tinto Fino 2021

“Of all the producers around Madrid, for me Marc is the best.” José Luis Mateo, Muradella

Country

Spain

Primary Region

Madrid

People

Winemaker: Marc Isart

Availability

National

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