A Visit to Bodegas Rebollar, Ernesto Carcel.


 

 

Ernesto Carcel with the Press in the Bodega.

As you leave Valencia behind you and its coastal plain and interior you leave also the orange groves, industrial estates and urbanisations as you start to climb away from Chiva and Cheste. The climb continues through some 700 metres over the next 20 kilometers or so, past the ugly cement works of Buñol and into the mountain range of Las Cambrillas with its indigenous pine forests, past a couple of small hamlets, the wind farm at Venta Mina until the turn off for the small town of Siete Aguas.

After this the motorway to Madrid runs paralell to the new fast train line to the capital (AVE) and the old RENFE local line to Requena and Utiel. This is where in winter you notice first the bright red soil dotted with the dormant black stumps of vines and in autumn the explosion of colours as the leaves on the vines begin to turn.  In this corridor you also pass the small town of El Rebollar, quickly passed, where the vineyards begin and the first of Utiel-Requena´s bodegas are situated.

 

The Barrel Park at Bodegas Rebollar.

Actually, this tiny town had some five bodegas just ten years ago. Today one is for sale, another is owned by Shenck and used for packing products leaving the Cooperative of Nuestra Señora del Rosario ( founded 1961 ) and the bodegas of Ernesto and Carlos Carcel, brothers and wine makers both.

 

The wine-making tradition began in the 1920´s with Feliciano Cárcel, grandfather to the current owners. His sons took over in the 1940´s with Ernesto senior building a new bodega. His sons, the two brothers commenced a modernisation process in the early 80´s producing their first wine in 1982, Rebollar, a red wine whose name survives today as a young style wine also sold in bag in the box format.

Range of Wines Available.

Today Carlos makes his wine from this original bodega and Ernesto makes his from a subterranean bodega on the outskirts of town, which was built in the early 90´s.

Ernesto and Pepa Cerveró have some 20 hectares of Macabeo, Bobal, Garnacha and Tempranillo which from the 2011 vintage will be ecologically certified and will carry the certification on its labels which should help with marketing in Northern Europe. Currently the wines are sold directly from the property and through a distributor in Valencia. Ernesto is also a committee member of Ferevin, the organisation responsible for Requenas August wine fair each year and which his brother Carlos is President of.

The bodega is set into a hill-side and consists of a main building housing stainless-steel deposits on the lower level together with a bottling,  tasting  and sales area. Upstairs there are the destalking machine and press, as well as a laboratory and an office. The barrel park is a long brick-lined tunnel set off the rear of the ground floor and here can be found the american oak barricas which Ernesto prefers.

Traditional Method and Tempranillo Crianza.

Following a brief tour of the facility we were invited to taste some of the wines which are currently available for sale.

The Blanco Crianza is a pure Macabeo fermented in the barrel and then an ageing process lasting  eight months in total. This results in a deep golden-yellow wine with long slow fat legs and which is clear and bright. On the nose it has a developed and very complex nose, flowers, spices, fruits , stewed apples and honey. In the mouth it is full and round, very fruity , it has a long full finish and great depth. Ernesto likens this almost to a vermouth, certainly it would make a good aperitif and he likes it with almonds before a meal. At 14%ABV, it is a well-integrated, harmonious wine. 3.5€ at the bodega.

9 de Octubre is a traditional method sparkler ,  a cava except for the fact that El Rebollar is outside the DO Cava. This is a wine which has enjoyed twelve months in contact with the lees giving it a fuller body. A nice yellow colour, with fine persistent bubbles, on the nose there are white flowers and  ripe melon and in the mouth it has a good initial attack, is very fresh, creamy, with hints of red apple fruit and a long satisfying finish. 5€ at the bodega and worth every cent!

From a range of reds, we tasted first the Bobal Crianza, 2007 and 12.7% ABV. The ageing period is a year in American oak, and the wine is a nice youthful cherry red with a violet edge. On the nose blackberry, red and black fruits, plums, and hints of oak and in the mouth intense spiky fruit, smooth with a long satisfying finish. A nice young bobal and 3.5€ from the bodega.

Some of the Many Awards the Bodega has Won!

Finally we tasted  the Tempranillo Carcel de Corpa 2005 Reserva which is 13.5% ABV. A very nice medium density, garnet colour with a terracotta edge, long slow legs. On the nose sweet, tar ( asphalt) vanilla and oak. In the mouth it is smooth, medium-bodied, fruity, very elegant with oak and vanilla with a long finish. Very nice and also 5€ a bottle at the bodega.

The bodega is open on Saturday mornings but it is worth going armed with Ernesto´s mobile number just in case he has been detained in the village!

www.carceldecorpa.es

 

 

 

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