Wines of Valle de Guadalupe Part One – Alximia Vino Elemental
Considered to be the Napa of Mexico, Valle de Guadalupe’s industrious winemakers are experimenting with innovative blends and are on the verge of an exciting as well as inevitable boom. Because the quality and uniqueness of Valle wines are undeniable, Baja California wines promise to become more mainstream in the American market. This post kicks off a series of three Valle de Guadalupe winery profiles starting with Alximia Vino Elemental.
From the outside, Alximia resembles a spaceship that landed in the desert.
Yet there’s a rationale behind the madness. Owner Alvaro Alvarez Parrilla holds a PhD in mathematics and his father is an astronomer. Every single detail of the building is scientifically designed to take advantage of nature from the rain-collecting rooftop to the super adobe walls that maintain temperature and humidity.
Even the name of the winery stems from science: Alximia is derived from “Alquima” which means alchemy in Spanish. And Alximia’s reputable wines are receiving accolades. The three top ones are:
• MAGMA 2012 – Carignan 67% & Grenache 33% blend, a premium wine great with food that won the Double Gold Medal at the Toast of the Coast 2016 wine competition
• LIBIS 2013 – Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Syrah (equal parts) blend; a best selling wine popular in the US with dark red fruit, coffee, spice and velvety characteristics
• PIRA 2012 – Barbera 100%, another premium wine that contains the natural acidity of a Barbera with an interesting richness and complexity to it. Think strong leather aromas intermingled with cinnamon, cardamom, plum and wild red berries. Give it a couple more years in the bottle for the leather to integrate nicely into the wine leaving a remarkable smooth finish.
Winemaker Alvaro is part of the Valle trend to break the mold by combining unusual blends such as the ALMA (Petit Verdot, Barbera, Tempranillo), AQUA (Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Grenache), LIBIS or SENDA (Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo).
These wines are sending sommeliers into a tailspin because they upset all the rules of what’s standard and acceptable yet still exhibit excellence. As Alvaro comments, “We try to produce wines that are well balanced, true to the fruit, soil and climate — yet they have the least amount of artificial “corrections” to yield “crazy” Baja Blends!”
Finally, Alvaro appreciates the camaraderie that he shares with fellow winemakers in Valle de Guadalupe and the unique tranquil lifestyle of the region. “I enjoy the easy lifestyle, the weather (usually) and the fact that it’s near some nice cities like San Diego. What is there not to like about the Valle?”
He hopes that Americans will rediscover Mexico through its wine and gastronomy. Embrace the hospitality and warmth of the culture and leave aside the notions of danger so commonly associated with his country.