Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pozo de Luna wine brand aims to put San Luis Potosí vintages on the map

Vinicola Pozo de Luna, a winemaking project in the perhaps unexpected state of San Luis Potosí, sits in an area that once formed part of a colonial wine route of far-flung vineyards planted by Mexico’s first missionaries.

During the colonial period, the Catholic Church was the only entity allowed to produce wine in New Spain, but in modern times, winemaking has returned to many of these regions. For that reason, even though winemaking in San Luis Potosi is a relatively new development in the modern era, the area has a long history of grapes in the ground.

Pozo de Luna is also a bit of a newcomer. The wine brand was founded only in 2008, but it’s already made waves in the short time since José Cerrillo Chowell and Manuel Muñiz Werge, two friends from the area who had some land, decided to start a business and expand wine tourism in the area.

In the Soledad municipality, just minutes from the local airport, they built a vineyard with all the finest and most advanced technology that they could import from abroad.

Pozo de Luna vineyards in San Luis Potosi
Founders and friends José Cerrillo Chowell and Manuel Muñiz began their business with grapevines they brought back from France in 2010.

In 2010, with the guidance of Dr. Joaquín Madero Tamargo, a wine scientist and viticulturist (a wine grape growing expert), they brought vines from France to Mexico.

The vineyard sits at 1,870 meters above sea level, in a semi-desert climate that provides an excellent climate for sauvignon blanc, viognier, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Syrah, malbec, and other varietals.

Their business has grown little by little: from their first 10 hectares, they have expanded to 15, and the quality of Pozo de Luna’s wine is a testament to Dr. Madero’s excellent work. Their incorporation of new, increasingly popular varietals is proving that Pozo de Luna is a sustainable business with advanced winemaking techniques that each day is drawing increasing wine tourism to its door.

When San Luis Potosí eventually joins the country’s extensive wine route, Pozo de Luna will be one of the reasons it did.

Pozo de Luna vineyards in San Luis Potosi
The vineyard is on 15 hectares of land in San Luis Potosí and features a historic hacienda on the property.

These days, Pozo de Luna hosts visitors for all types of tastings and tours of the vineyard led by company sommelier Alfredo Oria. Their location near the capital’s historic center and the San Luis Potosí airport is an additional plus.

Pozo de Luna’s first vintages arrived in 2016, using grapes from the 2013 harvest. They included three varieties: a Syrah, a merlot (which later became a single-vineyard wine, meaning that all the grapes used for the bottle came from the same parcel of land) and, finally, a blend of cabernet, Syrah and merlot.

Their red wines generally spend two years in either French or American oak barrels.

In 2017 they produced their first white wine, a sauvignon blanc. And since then, they have continued expanding their line with a viognier, a malbec (another single-vineyard wine), and a nebbiolo rosé. This year, they launched a pinot noir that spent nine months in new barrels, a new young Syrah, a grand reserve Syrah, a malbec and a merlot.

The Pozo de Luna Syrah is a 2016 vintage that’s won both a gold and silver medal at the Decanter Awards.

Any wine collection worth its salt will want to have wine from Pozo de Luna — reds that are elegant, long and structured, whites that are classic and sophisticated. I tried the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, a fresh single-vineyard wine with a soft yellow color and greenish hues. It was aromatic, very herbal and citric, with pear, pineapple and honey in the nose.

With a fresh and silky mouthfeel, this is a great wine for accompanying seafood and fresh cheeses.

Also from a single vineyard, the 2016 Syrah has an excellent evolution. The aging process was done nicely, with tannins that though present remain polished. Plum and blackberries flavors jump out at you. This wine is begging for a demiglace cut of meat or a spread of charcuterie.

Their first white wine has already won several international awards and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The full list (so far) of their wines’ accolades is below:

vineyards of Pozo de Luna, San Luis Potosi
Working with a wine scientist and viticulturist appears to have helped the vineyard greatly; it’s already producing medal-winning wines.

Pozo de Luna Sauvignon Blanc 2017

  • Gold Medal at the San Luis Potosí International Wine Competition Festival (2017)
  • Best Wine of its Class gold medal, San Luis Potosí International Wine Competition Festival (2018)
  • Gold Medal, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, México selection (2018)

Pozo de Luna Viognier 2018

  • Silver medal, San Luis Potosí International Wine Competition Festival (2019)
  • 90 points score out of 100 in the Guía Peñín wine guide (2020).
  • Bronze medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (2020)
casks at Pozo de Luna, San Luis Potosi
The vineyard’s red wines generally spend two years in either French or American oak barrels.

Pozo de Luna Merlot 2016

  • 92-point rating in the Mexican wine guide, Guía Catadores (2019)
  • 90-point score in the Guía Catadores (2021)
  • Bronze medal at the Decanter Awards (2021)
  • Bacchus de Oro award at International Bacchus Competition (2021)

Pozo de Luna Ensamble Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2016

  • 92-point rating in Guía Catadores (2019)
  • 90-point rating in Guía Catadores (2021)
  • Bronze medal at the Decanter Awards (2021)

Pozo de Luna Malbec 2017

  • The Great Gold Medal, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (2020); also named a Revelation Wine
  • 90-point rating, Guía Catadores (2019)
  • 9-point rating, Guía Peñín (2020)

Pozo de Luna Syrah (2016)

  • Bronze medal, Decanter Awards (2020)
  • Silver medal, Decanter Awards (2021)

You can find Luna de Pozos wine in Mexico and in the United States in California.

Sommelier Diana Serratos writes from Mexico City.

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