Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Pheonix, A Visit to Bodegas Mitos, DO Utiel-Requena.


The New Bodega.

The New Bodega.

Around 1957 the tiny hamlet of El Azagador close to Requena opened its wine cooperative. In 1999 there were 150 growers with a total annual harvest of around 25,000 Hectolitres from 364 hectares of land surrounding the village and next door Derramador. It made wine which was then made available to the bodega in nearby Roma which sold completely in bulk….much of it to Rioja I have heard.

Blink and you could miss El Azagador altogether, sitting as is does on the old road from El Ponton to Utiel. You pass the community centre, Bodegas Torroja and its restaurant El Alambique, sadly both currently closed, and Mitos is on your right.

Another 50 metres and you are into Derramador and the bodega San José which is now Torre Oria with its mushroom domed towers is directly ahead of you.

In 2012 this Coop bodega dedicated to San Miguel had gone, razed to the ground, and today all that remains is a coloured tile on a corner of a wall of the aptly named Calle de Cooperativa where it once stood. In the time since,  the bodega has been completely rebuilt, modern, glistening white, with the latest  machinery and equipment underlying the new style of wines being produced. Today the Phoenix has risen, the bodega is Mitos!

Sala de Catas

Sala de Catas

While the building took shape the wines from the bodega were being created….more on these later! A huge investment has followed, investment and expansion which continues even though the bodega only started selling wine from June last year.

The visit started in the sala de catas to where we were to return later to taste the three wines currently available.

From there we entered the ground floor warehouse where palettes of boxes destined for export were sat ready for despatch. The bodega is another which aims to sell mainly abroad which is why I had not seen the wines before. Currently they sell to Slovakia, Russia, Germany, the USA, Belgium and China. If they decide to enter the home market later then specialist staff will be needed.

Above the Deposits.

Above the Deposits.

Behind the warehouse the bodega sits, its base on a lower level, with the tops of the tanks and a barrel park separated by a glass wall. Up here you are  in the roof ( the bodega is built into a slope) and  the walkways take you past the deposits where the grapes are transferred from the destalking machine outside and pumped to the new stainless steel 55,000 kg tanks for fermentation.

Beyond here and the  park holds 700 oak  barrels a mixture of mainly French and American ( Missouri) and the first thing that attracts your attention is the all-pervading smell of vanilla….I dont think I have ever noticed it quite as strong as it was today! The barrels are maintained so as to avoid noise and vibration.

Some of the 700 Barrels

Some of the 700 Barrels

Downstairs and in what is effectively a basement there is another warehouse full of boxes of wine ready to go. Here also is a large modern bottling plant with a capacity of some 1800 bottles an hour….evidently not enough as capability  is to be extended shortly to  six thousand bottles per hour!

A very modern laboratory houses the computer which controls the temperature of the deposits, the pumping over, and there are a pair of spectrometers.

Part of the Bottling Line.

Part of the Bottling Line.

You may expect that a new consortium has moved in to make all this investment but that is not so. The bodega is in fact owned essentially by a family who have 60 hectares of their own vines, controlling 450 on a nearby finca, buy in the Macabeo and the Moscatel from Turis for the white wine and are looking to expand onto land behind the bodega to build a machinery store. They are also looking at further land and possibly a nearby bodega to provide more capacity. The strategy is to make quality wines with a matching price ratio. Good wines at sensible prices.

Outside we looked at the giant deposits and the space where in the summer two more will be joining them.

Then it was time to return to the tasting room and see what all this investment has produced!

Mitos Blanco

Mitos Blanco

The first wine was a white, a blend of 75% Macabeo and 25% Moscatel which comes from nearby Turis. This wine is therefore sold under the DO Valencia lable and is 12.5% ABV. From the 2012 vintage, it is pale gold in colour, with bright clean flashes, clean and quite brilliant . On the nose it was initially fresh and light, peach and apricot fruit predominating but as it opened out there was a complexity emerging, rich and spicy….easily confusable with a Gewürztraminer.  This is a wine for the mouth though! Here it has a slightly sweet entry then a dry, rich,  spicy complexity, full, round and very well-balanced with a long finish!

I absolutely loved this wine, powerful enough to drink with strong seafood dishes, yet fruity and interesting enough to enjoy every mouthful as an aperitif. At around 3€ in the bodegas shop this is definitely value for money!

Mitos Joven

Mitos Joven

Second was the Mitos Roble 2012, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo with 14%ABV. Medium bodied, deep plum red in colour with hints of violet at the edge and very long slow legs. The wine is Madurado en Barrica so it has three months ageing in French and American oak, it is also DO Utiel-Requena. On the nose oak, vanilla and chocolate vie with guindilla cherry, mature red fruit. Again on entry there is a hint of sweetness, then the oak and vanilla, the wine is round, has good volume in the mouth, is balanced and has a long finish with clove and vanilla. This is another very good wine, serious but an easy drinker.

Finally we tried the Tinto Joven 2012. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and has 13.5%ABV. The wine is also DO Utiel-Requena. The current lable is due for re-design. The wine is a plum red, but with more violet edging and looks younger than the Roble. It too has noticeably long, slow forming, fat glycerinous legs. On the nose it is  young, fresh, fruity, red and black fruit with  hints of prune. In the mouth a mature fruity mouthful, smooth and full, well-balanced and an easy drinker.

Looking back the trajectory of this project has been very rapid and is set to continue in that way. Perhaps it is not surprising that the two reds won silver medals in the Brussels World Wine Challenge. A fourth wine, a red crianza is due to be bottled shortly and then released in due course.

Award Certificates.

Award Certificates.

You will have to beat a path to the bodega to buy the wines or shop on-line for them! At 3-4 € a bottle they will more than repay the effort!

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Enotourism- An Excursion to Bodegas La Viña ( Venta del Puerto) and Bodega Daniel Belda.


Outside the Original Bodega. La Viña.

Outside the Original Bodega. La Viña.

We should never forget that a visit to a bodega should above all be a fun experience! Looking back over the posts on Bodega visits over the last year whilst all have been fun many of them had a serious purpose as well. Sometimes though you have to let your hair down and just go for a day out.

I have  a future programme of Bodega visits in mind for 2014  with several of them set to focus on exploring the more esoteric side of blending ( `assemblage´ in French and `coupatge´ in Castellano ) and the tasting of new wines and monovarietals still in deposit or barrica. This is a vital part of learning about wine and how it develops, a way of understanding how wines change or develop in barrel and ultimately understanding what the make-up of wine is and then monitoring it in bottle over the years that come. Such is the hard life of wine professionals…not that I hear any of them complaining!!!

Last weekend was time for letting the hair down a bit! A friend and I have been looking at setting out to create Bodega visits for those who are rather more interested in tasting the final product, buying bottles of what they have enjoyed to take home and if there is a good meal in it as well….all the better!!

L-R Jorge Pertegaz, Marian Daras, José Agustin Martínez and Ricardo´s Blog.

L-R Jorge Pertegaz, Marian Daras, José Agustin Martínez and Ricardo´s Blog.

Where better to start than with a group of friends from the Valencia area, many interested in wine and gastronomy? What better bodegas to visit than the contrasting but emblematic bodegas of La Viña and Daniel Belda ( amongst the most important in DOP Valencia) . So on the first rainy day since August,  twenty five of us set out on trip to the interior and the Terres dels Alforins…DOP Valencia´s major wine-route. I have reported several times  on this  since the concept was announced, launched and subsequently from two presentations  ( most recently at http://wp.me/p16pqB-wq ) and a wine fair.

Terres dels Alforins.

Terres dels Alforins.

Formerly part of the Clariano region of DOP Valencia, the Terres dels Alforins is now a clearly defined sub-zone in its own right.

It is full of popular, well-known bodegas and the two we chose could not be more different.

We started at La Viña ( Venta del Puerto) where we were welcomed by Managing Director José Agustin Martínez and Wine-maker Jorge Caus Pertegaz. As it happened the Mayor of La Font de la Figuera ( the town where the bodega is sited) chose to tag along as well with some visitors from New Mexico! Historically this is one of the biggest bodegas in Valencia, owned by the giant Valencian Coop Anecoop who also run the bodegas in Cheste ( famous for the sweet whites from Moscatel such as Reymos etc) and  a new enterprise in Navarra.

Inside the Giant Bodega. .

Inside the Giant Bodega.
.

The bodega has a membership of 390 `socios´who between them contribute 11,300,000kg of grapes from the Villena, Fontanars, Ayora, Moixent , Ontinyent and the Font de la Figuera area. 80% of these are red varieties, the remaining 20% being white.  It is a giant bodega, completely modern inside and in presentations both José Agustin and Jorge explained that the bodega´s vision was to place itself at the centre of producing wines of excellent price to quality ratio.

The bodega has started out on an expansion and investment programme supported by Cajamar, investment which is counterbalanced by healthy sales to many countries outside Spain ( their wines can be found in Wal-Mart and Asda stores in the UK for example). Within Spain they want to be the reference bodega for the Valencian Community and to expand the number of bottles of Valencian Wine ( especially in the medium range ) sold in supermarkets. To this end the `Juan de Juanes´ range offered by Consum and Carrefour in Valencia are their leading products.

Enjoying the Tasting.

Enjoying the Tasting.

Following the tour of the installation we enjoyed a tasting of three of the bodegas wines and a `picadita´ of typical food from the area. The three wines were the excellent Juan de Juanes Vendimia Oro Chardonnay, ( oaked but popular with those who do not generally like Chardonnay or oaked whites) the Juan de Juanes Petit Verdot 2011 ( which incidentally was the winner of the Light reds category of my 2013  wine selection ( http://wp.me/p16pqB-zU)  and the Venta del Puerto 18, 2010 . This latter wine is the bodegas flagship,  a blockbuster made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Tempranillo selected from the best grapes and then wines and aged for 18 months in French Oak . The wine is only lightly filtered and is from a limited production of just 26143 bottles.

Exploring La Viñas Shop!

Exploring La Viñas Shop!

After buying several cases of wine ( which I hope made it worth the bodega opening exceptionally on a Saturday ) we moved on to the pretty little town of Fontanars dels Alforins and the family bodega of Daniel Belda.

Here we were to have lunch so time did not allow a  trip around the bodega. The venue was the old bodega which now doubles up as a shop and warehouse  with a space set aside for entertaining.  When we arrived Daniel himself, wine-maker and grandson of the original owner, was preparing the fire for the barbecue where the calçots were to be cooked ( calçots are a leek shaped member of the onion family which are roasted over the fire until soft inside and then served with romescu sauce…a popular dish at this time of year which originates from around Tarragona).

Daniel Belda. Getting the Fire for the Calçots Going!

Daniel Belda. Getting the Fire for the Calçots Going!

We commenced with a comprehensive tasting of the families wines starting with a dry rosat in the cava method. Unable to use DO Cava because Fontanars is not an area within the designated DO the bodegas of the Terres dels Alforins are looking for a new designation that will allow them to create and sell sparkling wines. Needless to say the wine was fruity, had good volume in the mouth, good acidity, a pleasant attack from the bubbles and well-balanced.

Next we tasted the 2013 Verdil ( my winner of the best unoaked white wine of the year ) followed by the 2012 Chardonnay which has been oaked and which I have shown this year e.g.  http://wp.me/p16pqB-zN  at a Valencia-International tasting. The first is fresh, dry never disappoints and has a nose full of gooseberry, and a flavour of passion fruit whilst being fresh and dry…..the second almost a classic French style chardonnay from the Macon.

The New Maceración Carbonica Garnacha.

The New Maceración Carbonica Garnacha.

Daniel Belda makes chiefly monovarietals, Next up were two new wines, bottled and labelled only the day before. This was to be a  treat because we were effectively the first to try the two new MC wines from the Carbonic Maceration method which produces wines such as Beaujolais Nouveau, wines which surprisingly are not widely made in the Valencian region. The first was an immensely fruity and very good 2013 Tempranillo, just 1500 bottles have been made but if you like an intensely fruity wine with hints of boiled sweets and a real easy drinker this is for you!!! The second was the Garnacha Tintorera made in the same style, also very fruity but a little leaner in the mouth and needing more time. I suspect both will prove to be very popular additions to the bodega´s range.

Calçots and Romescu Sauce.

Calçots and Romescu Sauce.

By now the calçots and the other `picaditas´were exhausted and the main course ( a Gazpacho Manchego which is very traditional in the area was ready!) Our informal tasting ended we sat down and tasted four more wines with the meal.

First was the stunning Migjorn 2007, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha, for me the best wine the bodega produces…beaten only by the now unavailable 2006! This and the Ca´Belda 2006 a blend of Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera and a big wine in every sense of the word were perfect accompaniment to the gamey gazpacho.

Gazpacho Manchego, Fontanars Style.

Gazpacho Manchego, Fontanars Style.

With the dessert ( baked sweet  pumpkin) we drank the bodegas Moscatel and then finished with coffee and the cava the bodega has made for them at Castell dels Sorrels.

This was a perfect example of eno-tourism at its best, 25 very happy people who enjoyed a great experience in the wine region of Valencia, fabulous wines and a super meal of traditional local food. A perfect marriage which we will now be working very hard to repeat regularly.

Even the Kids were Catered For!

Even the Kids were Catered For!

My personal thanks go to José Agustin, Jorge, Daniel ( a genial host)  and Vincent at Bodegas Belda and to Marian Daras who worked very hard to co-ordinate  all the arrangements  with the bodegas and with me!

In the shop at Bodega Daniel Belda.

In the shop at Bodega Daniel Belda.

A Visit to Bodegas Viver Sanjuan, IGP Castellon.


Ismael Sanjuan.

Ismael Sanjuan.

In 1793, Cavanilles, who was undertaking a survey for the then Spanish crown on the state of agriculture in the Kingdom, famously wrote `In no other part of the Kingdom are there vines , such as those in Viver.´

Suitably inspired by these words Ismael Sanjuan and his family felt moved to try to revive the vines reputation in a village around 625m above sea level in the Alto Palancia and whose vineyards have views to the Pico de Penyagolosa and are situated in the Sierra de Espedan and the Sierra Calderona. This was 1991…..pioneering times in the region as , like most of Castellon, winemaking was dead and buried! Why should this stop anyone whose ambition is to try to revive the famous heritage of wine-making in this part of the Valencian Community! Well maybe just because there were no vines, no vineyards……

The very Old Press, Still in Use!

The very Old Press, Still in Use!

Formerly a Professor of Philosophy, Ismael and his family set about recovering a tradition in 1991 when the project began with the purchase of parcels of land, vines, their planting, and subsequently the production of the first wines about 8-9 years later. Today Ismael produces wines using  Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and experiments with Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Semillon as well as a touch of Sultanina. In reds Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot and Syrah are the main varieties although he has some Mondragon, a local variety which I have so far failed to find any reference to.

His wines are produced ecologically, biodynamically and in very small quantities ( around 5-6 thousand bottles a year) and are sold locally and in restaurants in Castellon city. This traditional and ancient method is balanced with modern scientific techniques.

The wines are also unfiltered and produced from deposits which hold just 800 or 1000 litres. Each variety is vinified separately . For the Tinto Barrica French and American oak is used.

800 Litre Deposits.

800 Litre Deposits.

The soils are limestone, sandy and stony but given the hanging fog and cold morning we passed on the opportunity this time to go and visit the terraces and mountain slopes where they grow.

Today Ismael is also President of the IGP and  President of the village Co-op, (whose olive oil is marketed under the Lagrima lable and suitably is the best produced from the Serrano variety!)

Normally the bodega ( which is currently undergoing some reconstruction work ) offers five wines, whites from Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, a rosado and a tinto joven and barrica. Certainly the shelves are bare at the bodega now and until the new vintages are bottled and ready!

Empty Shelves in the Shop!

Empty Shelves in the Shop!

As always, the purpose of the visit was to taste and evaluate what Ismael does have to hand! We were not to be disappointed!

We started with the 2013 Chardonnay from deposit.

Drawing Chardonnay From the Deposit.

Drawing Chardonnay From the Deposit.

At 13%ABV, pale gold in colour the wine is ready for bottling and will be in the next couple of weeks. It is clean and  bright with golden flashes. The nose is quite closed, not unusual in wines which are stabilising but green apple was evident. In the mouth the wine was initially green, but again the apple and then citrus notes began to develop. The wine needs bottling and  a period of rest but I would love to revisit in about three months time because the potential is evident!

Gewürztraminer in Glass!

Gewürztraminer in Glass!

The second white is a Gewürztraminer 2013, also from deposit and ready for bottling now. This had been picked a couple of weeks before the Chardonnay and its development was more marked. It is around 12.5%ABV. More golden in colour with green flashes, clean, bright and with long, slow legs. On the nose  it is very floral, with marked spiciness ( white pepper) , fruity ( I could detect weak apricot notes) . In the mouth, tropical fruits  ( lychees ) and rose petals were evident! The second mouthful was fuller and rounder as it opened in the glass, opulent, almost petrol, very nice and with massive potential. This is the second Gewürztraminer I have tried recently from deposit and it looks as though it may well have a future in Castellon!

The two reds we tried were both from bottle and earlier vintages.

Edición Limitada.

Edición Limitada.

First up was the 2009 Edición Limitada, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Syrah 40% and Merlot making up the balance. This wine has 11 months in a mix of French and American oak, and is 12.5%ABV. Intense red cherry colour, good slow legs. On the nose ripe plums and blackcurrant, and in the mouth whilst the oak was notable it balanced the fruit which was quite jammy, the wine is round, balanced, velvety smooth. It fills the mouth and has a long persistent finish…for all that, it is an easy drinker normally selling for around 6€ a bottle ( the others are all around 4€ each when available).

Before We Began!

Before We Began!

Finally we tasted the 2012 Joven, a 100% Tempranillo. A vivid purple colour, very youthful looking still, and with good legs. On the nose red fruits, blueberries, strong varietal characteristics, floral ( violet) spicy, warm. In the mouth it is intensely fruity, almost to the point of boiled sweets, round, very full, well structured and very easy drinking with a long fruity finish.

The project is still very much in development and with such small production  is almost a hobby rather than an a going concern! But as we all know , these projects get a head of steam behind them and sometimes develop faster than expected. The wines are selling well as evidenced by the lack of availability….I suspect this is a family project with a long future ahead of it. Thank you Ismael for a fascinating visit!

Ismael Pours the Chardonnay!

Ismael Pours the Chardonnay!

Ricardo´s Best Wines from Valencia, 2013 Selection!


Just one tasting!

Just one tasting!

2013 has been a stonkingly good year for tasting wine, full of memorable events, food and wine fairs and specialist catas, not to mention some very enjoyable visits to bodegas!

Let me explain. My selection is emphatically not a scientific points based reference. It is rather my personal recollection of wines tasted during the year which stood out for me as being particularly special! The selection contains some surprises, I would hazard a guess, but some will undoubtedly be up there with the selections of those whose job it is to assess and categorise wines.

There are  ten categories reflecting the styles of wines available here in Valencia. The selection is limited to wines I have tasted over a meal, at a fair, at a tasting or on a visit between the first of January  and the 31st of December 2013.

Artemayor...best Cava!

Artemayor…best Cava!

We start with Cava. DO Cava wines are produced around the town of Requena and at one other location near Turis. The handful of bodegas with the right to make cava ( around 10) produce about 5% of the total for the whole of Spain but they are wines with a burgeoning reputation, selling worldwide and with a very high level of quality. This means that there are a growing number of bodegas who wish to have a cava in their range even if they are physically outside of the protected area of denomination. They have to rely on one of the permitted bodegas having capacity to make a wine for them!

Four wines stood out for me this year. Pago de Tharsys Unico, which topped my 2011 list, their Millesimé, Dominio de la Vega´s Reserva and of course Arte Mayor. Other bodegas are right up there! Hispano+Suizas Tantum Ergo Pinot Noir and Chozas Carrascal to name but two and it was good to see Sebirán back in the market!

All of these top four cavas will set you back  around 20-25€ but as artisan wines they are hugely better than the commercial champagne houses.   I have been lucky to try these wines on several occasions this year and to have enjoyed bottles around the table with friends. For me Daniel Esposito´s Arte Mayor (V) Brut Nature from Dominio de la Vega currently has the best balance of flavour, acidity and attack. It is a blend of 2006/7 vintages and Chardonnay and Macabeo varieties with six months in French oak.

In the unoaked whites range a number of bodegas made wines which made an impression. However there was one which stood out at every tasting from the beginning of October onwards. This is  Verdil, the first wine from the Northern Hemisphere to be released each year. The variety which gives this `joven´ its name was largely saved from extinction by  Daniel Belda whose Fontanares bodega produces it. Fresh, lively, with a nose full of white flowers and spice and tropical fruit such as passion fruit with a long dry finish.

Verdil 2013

Verdil 2013

The oaked whites were altogether a different matter. Conveniencia from Finca San Blas, Clos de la Vall Pedro Ximenez, the Macabeo from Clos D´esgarracordes, Mustiguillo Finca Calvestre Merseguera,  all had their moment…or moments. Finca Collado 2012 is another contender as were the 2011, 2010 and 2009 tasted at a very special meeting of the Pedralba Wine Club, each with hints of  more age, more acidity and depth. However it was the  Clos de la Vall which shaded it, produced in Moixent and in small amounts its versatility with food caused it to be opened a lot this year!

 

In Rosado wines there is usually a strong case for an automatic winner from Bobal! The bubble gum, and boiled sweets flavour with a balancing acidity marks it out….but not this year. The Bobal de San Juan and Al Vent from Coviñas were very close as was Las Cuatro from Chozas Carrascal ( full of ripe redcurrant fruit) but the Casa de las Vides Rosae from Agullent, with Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon had both freshness and unctuous fruits and tipped the edge for me. At the Umbracle tasting at the end of September it was showing particularly well. Despite tasting rosados from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Bonicaire  and Monastrell , nothing quite ever got within its range!rosa rosae

 

In the categories for reds it is always difficult. The categories are light reds, (usually those with little or no crianza), wines with crianza and Bobal as a variety gets its own prize!

There are plenty of light reds around, not all wines are 14+% ABV. Three wines made it to the shortlist. The Sebiran `T´, a pure tempranillo comes in two versions, one with a period in stainless steel and the other with a short crianza. Both are very expressive and show good varietal characteristics from Spains workhorse grape. The `T´barrica even won an award. Murviedro´s `M´Syrah was also an impressive from this largely monovarietal range available in supermarkets. Full of spiky black cherry fruit and a real easy drinker. But it was a Petit Verdot 2011 from La Viña´s Juan de Juanes range which came out on top. A short crianza gives this intense black cherry wine with a nose full of olive stones, grape seeds and minerals and which in the mouth is meaty, a country style wine with good tannins…I have drunk this with fish, fowl and game in the last three months, a versatile wine and very memorable!

 

Juan de Juanes, Petit Verdot 2011

Juan de Juanes, Petit Verdot 2011

 

In the medium to full reds range the list was much longer….Monastrells from Alicante ( Tarima Hill 2012) and Castellon ( Clotas M from Vicente Flors; Merlot from Finca Collado ,( the 2010 is the best red yet produced at the bodega) and won a bronze in the San Francisco International Wine challenge; Clos D´esgarracordes Tinto Barrica 2008 chosen by the Nariz Oro for the semi-final and final of the current competition; and Masia de la Hoya, from Segorbe, Guzman Oreros 2006 Orero Seleción .  Best for me was the Tarima Hill….the passion flower on the lable exhibiting the complex wine inside the bottle! Floral,  ( violet) fragrant, hints of chocolate, liquorice and mature full fruit. In the mouth herbs and more floral notes….a very full wine. This was perfect with a whole shoulder  of lamb for a friends birthday lunch in a nearby restaurant but also showed well on its own at a tasting without food! At just under 10€ good value to price ratio as well!!!!

Tarima Hill

Tarima Hill

What a year for Bobal as well! New wines from Pasiego, Olivastro ( Membrillera)  and Hispano+Suizas ( Bobos)  all of which show the wine at its best either young,  with careful crianza or outright ageing to reserva status. In this last category I have been very lucky to share several bottles of Dani Esposito´s Arte Mayor ( IV) as well as the wine Primum Bobal made for the Association promoting this variety from Requena. The Olivastro was just an explosion of fruit, an absolute joy to drink.

Well, the winner is Bobos from Hispano+Suizas, launched in September and sold out by November!!!! A memorable day at the launch and a memorable wine, Pablo Ossorio getting this absolutely right…see archive September 16, 2013.

Bobos.

Bobos.

Always the last wines at tastings the sweets are also quite memorable for different reasons!

Amongst the Moscatels only one wine st0od out this year. The shortest bodega visit ever was to Bodegas Carmelitano in Benissa but….the Mistela is wonderful! ( See Archives 24 January 2013) Ripe and rich, perfect with vcakes or foie and only 15% ABV!!!

 

Moscatel ( left) and a nut liquor.

Moscatel ( left) and a nut liquor.

 

Three red dulces made the short list. La Madroñera Dulce , the new Bobal Dulce from Dominio de la Vega and a late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon 2003  from Sebirán  ( all from Requena!)

It was the Sebiran with its port like quality, its strange two phase aftertaste and just the memory of one of the best visits of the year which won this category!!!

late Harvest 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

late Harvest 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

So, in summary, here is my winners list for 2013…..

Cava…..Dominio de La Vega, Arte Mayor V. DO Cava ( Requena)

Unoaked White, Verdil, Daniel Belda 2013. DO Valencia

Oaked White, Clos de la Vall Pedro Ximenez. 2010 Fermentado en Barrica, DO. Valencia.

Rosado, Rosae 2012, Casa de las Vides Agullent, DO Valencia.

Light Reds, Petit Verdot 2011, Juan de Juanes Bodega Coop La Viña DO Valencia.

Crianza or reserva Reds, Tarima Hill 2012 Monastrell , Pinoso, DO Alicante.

Bobal, Bobos Hispano+Suizas, Finca Casa La Borracha 2011 DO Utiel-Requena.

Sweet White, Bodegas Carmelitano Vino de Licor Moscatel Benissa DO Valencia.

Sweet Red, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Late Harvest, Sebirán DO Utiel Requena.

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