#garagewine, the wines of Jesús Toledo in La Mancha


Small productions have their charm. For me it means that the person behind them has put all his passion to make these wines. I do not mean, far from it, that whoever makes wines for hundreds of thousands or even millions of bottles does not put all his passion. However, I am much more attracted to those people who make a few thousand bottles, or even a few hundred bottles. It is a way of working much more personal, more passionate.

Jesús Toledo is one of those people. You haven’t probably heard of Jesús or his wines, which he produces along with his cousin Julián Ajenjo under the name #Garagewine. If so, and if your wine style is the one I usually talk about in my articles, his wines should be on your to-do list.

In honor of his surname, Jesús and Julián winery is located in Toledo, in small village Quintanar de la Orden. On it, they make several labels to add some eight thousand bottles of the 2019 vintage. A quantitative jump from the previous vintage when they did just a shade over five thousand bottles (5,265). Jesús works mainly with red varieties, many of which are indigenous in this area, and he also works some magic with the white ones. He makes an Airén white that when I tried it I really liked it. It is a variety that did not attract me much because what little I had tried had not made me very happy. However, the one Jesús produces, Airén 2018, in this case, I really liked it. Airén 2019, the latest vintage, has 1,061 bottles on the market.

He also makes an Orange Wine, which is another aspect for which I like Jesus so much. To do this, he uses the Verdoncho variety, another indigenous grape. The must goes through a maceration period with the skins of sixty days. It seems a lot, but I have to say that when I spoke to Jesus about this wine I told him that to have been with the skins for a week or two, it was fine. My surprise was even greater when he told me about the 60 days. Verdoncho 2019 is the wine we are talking about, fresh out of the oven, with 609 bottles.

This is what Jesus does with whites. In reds he has a broader repertoire. A red that I really like is Garnacha Tintorera, one of those varieties that, like Airén, I have tried little and I have not liked what I have tried. However, Jesús makes a very cool one with 1,326 bottles of the 2018 vintage with 14 months in barrel. The name of the wine is the same of the varietal.

Another very rich red of his is La Forastera 2018, Shiraz 100%, with 11 months in barrel and 695 bottles. It is a very surprising and very tasty wine.

If I had already commented that Jesus works with indigenous varieties such as Airén and Verdoncho, he could not stop making a red, or rather two, with the most emblematic red variety of CastillaLaMancha, the Cencibel. With it he makes two wines, 6 de 7, with 11 months in oak and 1,102 bottles from the 2018 vintage, and the properly named Cencibel, without aging and with 992 bottles in 2019.

Brujidera is a local variety that names another of Jesus’ wines. A wine without aging and the one with the highest production, with 1,861 bottles in 2019 (1,714 in 2018).

To end the #Garagewine portfolio, you have to be aware of its solidarity side. To contribute to the Association ASPRODIQ in its help with people with disabilities, the last year Jesús has made a wine without aging with another indigenous variety: Tinto Velasco, of which he has made 598 bottles.

As you can see, Jesús Toledo works mainly with indigenous varieties, and I have to say that in my opinion he works very well. I really like their wines, since they are clean and frank wines, without added stuff or strange things. Highly recommended as they give great pleasure when drinking them. I recommend them, and as you can see, it produces very few bottles of each one. The numbers will go up as they will have more success. Please be advised: you have to hurry, because their wines are very worthwhile.