Familia Nin-Ortiz, 2013 Nit de Nin
This wine….. A monster of a wine. The Nit de Nin is a beautifully powerful wine that balances imposing structure with prestine fruit. Built for a long life in the cellar. Worth decanting a couple hours before, if your drinking it any time soon.
Where this wine comes from
Ester Nin and Carles Ortiz met in 2007 at a biodynamic seminar in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia). Carles was a winegrower who had been selling organic grapes in Priorat for 10 years and wanted to add extra value to his crop. By then, Ester, winemaker at Daphne Glorian’s Clos i Terrasses in Gratallops, followed biodynamic principles and had been making her own wine, the red Nit de Nin, since 2003. This first encounter eventually led them to bring together their vineyards, efforts and lives. Now they are family with two children and a small company called Familia Nin Ortiz, S.L. that manages 13 hectares of vines. The ground floor of their home is packed with wooden vats, amphorae and barrels. There isn’t a great deal of separation between their work and private life!
Familia Nin Ortiz is one of the few Spanish producers who are members of La Renaissance des Appellations, the biodynamic association led by Nicolas Joly (La Coulée de Serrant) with strict quality criteria for its affiliates. Ester and Carles also promoted a group of biodynamic producers in Penedès. Ester and Carles think of wine as an organic soil-yeasts-fermentation cycle. “Only a living soil creates the conditions to obtain yeasts capable of developing fully spontaneous fermentations” they say. They plough their vines with their four mules and pick grapes in late August, which is rather early for the area. Harvest dates are set based on pH levels —their ‘top commandment’— and they never tweak with their wines. “Rectified wines are soulless wines,” says Carles. Planetes de Nin red is a blend of young Cariñena planted in coster (terraced slopes) with destemmed, amphorae-aged Garnacha also sourced from terraced vines. Part of the latter is also bottled separately as Planetes de Nin Garnatxes en Àmfora. This is the only fully destemmed wine made by Nin Ortiz, and is also the freshest and most approachable; it is fermented in wood containers and spends around seven months in amphorae.
The original Nit de Nit launched originally by Ester is a powerful, structured red with bright acidity and minerality which benefits from some cellaring. Grapes are sourced from Mas d’en Caçador, a 112-year-old vineyard planted with Cariñena, Garnacha and Garnacha Peluda (downyleaved Garnacha). According to Ester, Mas d’en Caçador’s greatest virtue aside from vine age is its cooling north-northeastern exposure.