De Andres Sisters
Singular Wines From Spain
Ruth de Andres trained as a Chemist in Sheffield and was just about to embark on her PhD when she realised that she couldn’t bear the thought of spending another chunk of her life in a lab, so she returned to Spain and quickly fell in love with winemaking. She started her formal studies there before moving to Bordeaux where she completed her degree and enjoyed a long stint working with Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon and Michel Rolland at Chateau Pape Clement. Returning to Spain once again she began a five year stint with Bodegas Torres before going on to manage a number of boutique wineries. It was during this last phase that she saw first-hand how difficult it is for a small winery to make its way in an export market and this inspired her in 2008 to set-up Aleavini, a growing collective of boutique wineries and modern brands. Within the first three months she was swamped and called in help from her sister Ana, who at the time was working with an NGO in Bolivia contemplating her next move, having become disillusioned with her work as a psychologist consulting for major corporations. And the rest, as they say, is history.
One of the sisters’ particular knacks is finding wines that massively over-deliver on flavour and then designing labels for them with stand-out shelf presence, and that’s where we’re starting our collaboration.
Alegra Joven - Ribera del Duero
Tinta de Toro from Soria, the highest part of Ribera, characterised by its heavily calcareous soils. The combination of chalk and altitude results in a steady ripening and super-fine tannins – and that's the style that Ruth and Ana are striving for; purity, elegance and approachability rather than the more intense, bombastic style often found elsewhere in Ribera. Interestingly the wine isn't stabilised or clarified conventionally but is instead wintered in the open air (in temperatures between 10oC - -5oC) for a more natural version on the process. And the name? Alegra means 'glad'. As Ruth puts it, “After so many 'Castillo of Whatever', 'Duque of I Don't Know What' and 'Señorio de Blablabla', we just wanted to make a wine that makes people happy. Difficult to argue with that.
Bajel Pirata Joven - Alicante
A Mediterranean red in every sense – super ripe and juicy but with ample tannic backbone. Unquestionably a 'glugger' for easy enjoyment, with or without food. Named after the poem 'Song of the Pirate' by José Espronceda, Ruth and Ana’s favourite bedtime story when they were growing up.