Cenzontle Blanco 2019, the International Revelation White Wine

Cenzontle Blanco 2019, the International Revelation White Wine

Mexico captured the attention of the international wine industry after winning the International Revelation White Wine trophy at the 30th edition of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, held from May 12th to 14th in Istria. And it’s not a miracle. It’s the second time that a Mexican winemaker based in Baja California has managed to win this award in less than five years.

In fact, he is the same winemaker: Jesús Rivera, from the El Cielo Winery, who had already won the International Revelation Red Wine trophy at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in 2019, in Aigle, Switzerland.

The winemaker: Jesús Rivera

But the story of Cenzontle Blanco 2019, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Palomino grapes aged in French oak barrels, is much more fascinating than the special trophy obtained at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, recognized for its strict selection of judges and high standards that guarantee the awarding of a limited number of medals only to exceptional wines. This unique label is the result of a strategic alliance between El Cielo Winery and Finca El Empecinado, both located in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California.

Finca El Empecinado has 2 hectares of a Palomino rainfed vineyard over 50 years old that was recovered; over time, assisted irrigation was added. We call this wine, a blend of white grapes, Cenzontle in allusion to the “mythical bird of 400 voices”, native of the region, and because of its versatility, lightness and beauty. This wine was designed to achieve high versatility in its pairing, as a tribute to the rich gastronomy offered by the marine products of the two coasts of Baja California”, explains Rubén Roa, owner of Finca El Empecinado.

The 2019 was an exceptional harvest, it was a year in which we had good rainfall. Jesús Rivera, winemaker of the El Cielo Winery, has been my friend for many years. We agreed to vinify our grapes with them and later Jesús Rivera, together with El Cielo Winery owner Gustavo Ortega, sommelier Gina Estrada and his son Jesús Rivera Rodríguez, winemaking assistant from the winery, we achieved an interesting combination in a wine that turned out to have very good aging potential” adds Roa.

Cenzontle Blanco 2019 is a wine that comes out of the common Baja California denominator… In the glass it shows a yellow color with intense golden flashes and fruity aromas of pineapple, green apple, apricot, tangerine, guava, notes of honey, butter and coffee, derived from its aging in oak. On the palate it has a medium body, a pleasant balance between alcohol and acidity, and great length.

It is the first time in the 30-year history of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles that an oenologist has received recognition for International Revelation Wine in 2 categories: white and red. Jesús Rivera Covarrubias, born in Valle de Guadalupe, with almost thirty years of experience making wines in the region, also produced the Caipirinha 2016 wine at El Cielo, which was recognized as International Revelation Red Wine in 2019, in Aigle, Switzerland. This year another wine made by him receives the recognition of the International Revelation White Wine 2023.

“We are extremely proud that in this year 2023, which we are precisely celebrating 10 years since our winery opened, we have participated in the production of two International Revelation Wines at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. This award places Mexico once again on the world map, as a production region making wines of exceptional quality”, details Gustavo Ortega, general director of El Cielo winery.

Finca El Empecinado
It is a small, recently created wine project, located in Valle de Guadalupe, in Baja California. It has 2 hectares of Palomino vineyard of rainfed of more than 50 years that was recovered; over time, assisted irrigation was added, along with a plantation of Chasselas imported directly from France, 4 years ago.

It currently offers two wines, a white and a red. Both the white blend and the red blend share a quality of delicacy and refinement in their respective expressions. The second is a 100% Tempranillo red, called Corso, whose grape is produced in the San Vicente Valley; a fruity wine, with notes of vanilla and ripe cherry, and flavors of ripe plum that speak well of its aging in French barrels for 13 months.

El Cielo Winery
This 2023 celebrates its 10th anniversary. It is located in the Valle de Guadalupe in Ensenada, Baja California. It was built in 2013 under ecological functionality and energy efficiency philosophy. In 2015, it received the recognition granted by the Ensenada City Council as the First Eco-Responsible Company. It has 98 hectares planted in the Guadalupe, Ojos Negros and San Jacinto Valleys, all in Ensenada, Baja California. El Cielo Winery received the 2019 World Revelation Red Wine award for Caipirinha 2016, a wine made in partnership between El Cielo and Caipirinha Restaurant and Steakhouse, located in Mexico City.

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