Shakhrat Khakimov Viticultores

 Immersed in the spirit of Spanish Mediterranean landscape, Shukhrat Khakimov is making a selection of vivacious and delectable wines, faithfully expressing time, place and variety.

 

Earlier this year at Millesime Bio in Montpellier, I enjoyed a memorable tasting with a biodynamic producer of Uyghur descent. Shukhrat Khakimov’s journey started in Asia fifteen years ago leading him all the way to the other end of the ancient Silk Road, in Alicante, Spain.

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As with many artisans, Shukhrat combines both a formal winemaking education (University of Angers, France) with his own approach that includes speaking with the elders in his region to form a link in the generational chain of knowledge to be passed on. 

Grape Varieties 

teo bottles 700sq

Varieties used include: Sour Moravia, Malvasia, Semillon, Macabeo, Monastrell Tierra Blanca, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante Bouschet, Viognier.

The wines have a theme of vibrant acid and tannic structure upon which the bright characteristics of each grape variety are suspended; sensationally rich and fresh with concentrated flavours.

Of his grape selection process he says, “Learn some history about the zone, see the names of the grape varieties that have a relationship with the place, then it is important to speak with the old viticulturists. They give you a lot of information about local grapes … [then] you just follow the ancient methods.”

The transience of time and appreciation of life are also represented by his young children's drawings that he uses for labels on the Teo range of wines. The Gaspi range is named after his son, Gaspi, meaning 'guardian of treasure’.

Local climate in Comtat, Alicante

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With an average of 200 sun-days per year, the sub zone of Alicante, Comtat, is becoming increasingly drought prone. Shukhran is reliant on the rains feeding the soils prior to the hot summer in order to create the right biological system. He uses ancient agricultural techniques to maintain terraces, called bancales, that retain water from the rains on the roots of the vines. 

He says that 2021 was not so good. There was a lot of humidity. The grapes were high in acidity and the micro flora and fauna was not so present. ’23 was also a bad year with a drop off in insect life and a loss of yield.

Regarding the vines themselves, Shukhrat says, “First of all we need to focus our attention on grapes that don’t need a lot of water … We don’t irrigate, we don’t have access to water but we have a chance to be at 600m of altitude.” This altitude provides a decent range of high and low temperatures that keep the vines healthy.

Shukhrat describes their work as 80% focussed in the vineyard and 20% in the vinification process. They start with biodynamics as a goal, helping to reduce the human impact on viticulture but he stresses that it is not an absolute, saying, “If you want to arrive at some point, you need to start with something.” The pressures of climate and terrain combined mean that vigilance and adaptability are necessary, making up that 80% of vineyard focus.

In the winemaking process, he uses CO2 to avoid risk of oxidation and preserve the integrity of the flavours. He also prefers ageing in bottles to further reduce the external influences on the wine.

‘Shukhrat Khakimov & Viticultores’ Wines:

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Teo range:

031 Alicant Bouschet 60% blended with Cabernet Franc 40%

Decent burst of dark fruit flavour, peppery spice, with subtle but very attractive fine tannic structure. 

Long finish. 

3k bottles.

Viognier TEO 2022

15/20yr old vines with 48hrs maceration

Unfiltered

Soft, delicate, attractive wood and honeyed nose

Burst of vibrance in the mineral character, fresh, clean and long.

1k bottles

Monestrell Gaspi

35yrs old vines.

Vasso vine style shaped like a glass not possible to mechanically farm. Created for phelloxera but today helps create shade.

Attractive dark fruit nose.

Again vibrant juicy tannin, with bright dark berry fruit and even leathery flavours. Decent bite of tannin, leaving a dry clean ginish. 

A fine complete wine.

La Bella Ancestral 2020 Brut Nature pet nat

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Sustainable ecological viticulture

Moravia Agria grape variety

3k litres of press juiced and then ferment increasing temps by 2°C per day, until 20°C

Trained double French oak.

Ripe forest fruit berry nose.

Full of bubbles despite opened yesterday. Bright fresh crunchy fruit balanced by slight tannin. 

Really attractive.

12.5% alc

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