Colección de Toneles Centenarios
The Colección de Toneles Centenarios company was born from an extraordinary treasure: the barrel room of the Ferrero wineries, an old wine producing winery in Alicante, located in the city of Cañada, Alicante. There they found 25 old barrels that have been forgotten for more than 60 years. The barrels contained extremely old and also extremely expensive wines.
The family still has 25 hectares of vineyards, from which they resume the production of wines destined to produce Fondillón. Fondillon is a completely separate category of wine and is a sweet, undistilled wine made from extra ripe Monastrell grapes that are harvested later than normal, before being pressed, fermented with the skins and then aged in oak for at least ten years barrels. It is located in between a sherry and a port, but an important element is that the wine is not fortified, so it consists purely of the grapes.
The Fondillón comes from the Alicante region and has thus naturally reached its high alcohol content and belongs to one of the most important historical wines in Europe. It should only be made with 100% Monastrell grape from Alicante. The high natural alcohol value is achieved by ripening the grapes on the vine itself, which promotes both the highest levels of aromas and flavors of the Monastrell grape, produced by the solera system during the fermentation and aging process. Through this system, one portion of each barrel is tapped into the next when bottled, filling the decay with aged wine from the finest selection of Monastrell grape, Alicante's main variety. The production and aging is done with all the care and attention that is required by a noble wine.
The Fondillón was born in the former orchard of the city of Alicante and later spread to the neighboring area of Vinalopó where it currently produces wines. It was one of the most prestigious wines in the world until the phylloxera crisis and industrialization led to the disappearance of many wineries. Fortunately, this wine is coming back all the way and there are a number of high-quality wine companies that supply this beautiful wine, with Colección de Toneles Centenarios being very much at the top. Especially with their Fondillón Luis XIV of more than 60 years old, but also the 25-year-old version are very beautiful with very high international ratings. They are pricy wines, especially given the very long maturation, but actually only a fraction compared to some Sauternes.
The 4 characteristics of Fondillón:
- Denomination of Origin Alicante.Monastrell grape
- Minimum of 10 years of aging and aging in oak barrels
- Minimum of 16º or natural alcohol, never added alcohol
Since the grapes remain on the bushes to dry in (as is done for example in Puglia at Primitvo and is called appassimento there, but is also in principle the same as an Amarone) it also has to cooperate again. When autumn sets in early and the rains start, the grape cannot build up the sugars to create the minimum natural 16% alcohol, so these wines can always be made in the good years, and every year again poses the question whether it will work. The final wine is always a Non Vintage and the barrels therefore contain the blend of various years.