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Indigo and Goode pair up to deliver Albariño with a difference

Published:  24 June, 2019

Spain specialist Indigo Wines has teamed up with drinks writer Jamie Goode and Daniel Primack of Winerack'd UK for the latest in a growing number of forays into the world of hands on winemaking.

Speaking to Harpers at the company’s Brixton HQ, managing director Ben Henshaw said that this latest Galician collaboration with well-known critic Goode was aimed at “creating some excitement”, while providing a creative outlet for the Indigo team.

“We had dinner one night and I said I was interested in making a really interesting Albariño, I knew a producer we work with down there, Eulogio Pomares [of Zarate fame], and they came on board with the idea of making a wine we really enjoy drinking, a wine we can really get excited about,” said Henshaw.

Indigo has increasingly become involved in winemaking at source, with the recently renamed Force Celeste old vine Chenin from Swartland initiating a now growing portfolio that has witnessed the creation of a Triangle Wines label this year, which launched with an Uco Valley Malbec and a Semillon earlier this year.

The latest collaboration, Sal da Terra, will look to leverage the joint reputations of both Goode and Indigo, with the project partners visiting the estate a couple of times a year to oversee blending and maturation in a selection of vessels chosen by the Brits, including chestnut barrels and concrete tanks, with the aim of making a wine that is more about texture and terroir than Albariño’s signature primary fruit, and one that will age. 

“We been tasting the wine and it is good and this is the first year, so I think it will only get better,” said Henshaw, explaining that the fruit was sourced from two different plots, agreed upon after tasting. A South African artists has been brought in to create the label and the first wine should arrive in the UK towards the end of summer, to retail at around £29. 

Also in the Indigo pipeline is a label called Empire of Dirt, which is a collaboration with Australian winemaker Timo Mayer’s son Rivar, with the father also having input on the winemaking side of the project. Underway, this will see typically Mayer-esque ‘funky’ versions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc being produced, with wines expected to arrive on UK shores later this year.

“We are not trying to make overly serious or intellectual wine, but real wines for people who want that and are used to that, all naturally fermented, unfiltered and all the rest of it, so we are very excited about that,” said Henshaw.

The UK has witnessed a move by certain go-ahead importers to become more directly involved with winemaking projects. Companies such as Boutinot and Alliance are at the forefront of this nascent trend, with Indigo being the latest to dip its toe in the water, driven by Henshaw and Indigo's business development director Alvaro Ribalto.