Authentic Tenerife wines of enormous character and class

Authentic Tenerife wines of enormous character and class
Today we are delighted to introduce Borja Pérez Viticultor, from the volcanic island of Tenerife. One of the region’s most promising young vignerons, Borja is a low intervention winemaker turning out high-intensity wines that marry richness of fruit and deep, savoury mineral flavours with bracing, saline acidities. These are wines of huge character and personality, produced in small volumes. In fact, our new, exclusive partnership with Borja marks his first ever export to the UK; surprising, perhaps, given that he is one of a mere handful of producers credited as being instrumental in the rebirth of the Canary Islands as a dynamic and truly thrilling area of wine production. Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate writes that “it’s thrilling to see an old wine region come back to life, and that’s what has happened to the Canary Islands in the last decade. The spark originated in Tenerife with Suertes del Marqués, Envínate and Borja Pérez, and slowly other islands joined in.” Similarly, Tim Atkin MW, another authority on Spanish wine, believes that it is “thanks to dynamic producers like Altos de Trevejos, Borja Pérez, Envínate, Los Loros, Tajinaste and Suertes del Marqués [that] Tenerife is recovering its past glories and even surpassing them.”

The mainstay of Borja’s production is the growing “Artifice” range. Today we offer three of these wines: a deliciously salty, spicy single varietal Listan Blanco, an aromatic, mineral red fruit-scented Listan Negro, labelled simply as Tinto, and a complex white blend called Viduenos, made up of Albillo Criollo, Gual (Boal), Marmajuelo and Listan Blanco from across the appellation. Borja’s focus is on entirely indigenous grape varieties, sourced from vineyards in the richly biodiverse DO appellation Ycoden-Daute-Isora in the island’s north west. His upper range, Ignios Origenes showcases the qualities of each of the most prominent indigenous varieties as single varietal bottlings. They are exclusively from Borja’s own vineyards and, more often than not, the vines here are still planted on their original rootstocks as phylloxera never made it to the island. Production averages a tiny 1,200 – 3,000 bottles of each.

The volcanic, maritime vineyards Borja works range from low coastal elevations to about 800m but can sometimes climb as high as 1,400m. His winemaking philosophy can be characterised as minimal intervention, preferring larger aging vessels that minimise the influence of wood flavours, including concrete tanks, used 500L barrels and large oak fuders. The wines mature for an average of a year to eighteen months before bottling depending on the wine. Sulphur levels are kept to a minimum.