Bichi, Flama Roja Tecate 2019Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo
Tecate, Mexico is probably better known for its beer, but does, in fact, produce wine with a lengthy history. Before vine planting began in Chile and Argentina, Spanish conquistadors planted vines in Baja California (“lower” California, but part of Mexico). The Spanish Crown at the time of the late 1500s was fearful of this new wine being more popular than their own Iberian wines; production was ordered to stop, but Spanish Jesuit missionaries continued to plant. The Valle de Guadalupe continued to prove its significance even during Prohibition as it lay just outside the US border. Fast forward to 2014. Noel Téllez and his family moved to Baja California from Sonora, which is where “Bichi” comes from, the Sonoran dialect for “naked.” They were naked in the middle of Baja, a theme that lent itself well to the consistently nude figures gracing their wine labels. Noel is full-time proprietor of Bichi, but receives guidance from Beaujolais veteran Yann Rohel. Grapes planted are Misión, (also known as Pais), Tempranillo, and Moscatel Negro, as well as other wild vines that remain to be identified. The wines made are natural, but garner the local name of “vinos sin maquillaje,” or wines without makeup.
“Flama Roja,” or Red Flame, is from the Tellez home vineyard; young vines of Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tempranillo that are biodynamically farmed. The wine ferments in locally made concrete jars called tinajas, then ages in mixed steel and French oak over the winter. There is no fining or filtering; little sulfur is added.