A Vist to Finca El Renegado, Bodegas de Utiel.


 

Renegado, Colonia Agricola.

Renegado, Colonia Agricola.

 

Continuing our bodega visits , in the next week or so many will close for summer holidays before the harvest begins, we took another visit to the hamlet of Los Marcos and visited the family bodega of Adolfo de la Heras, known as the Finca del Renegado after the name of one of its parcels of vines.

The bodega has around 50 hectares of vines, of mostly noble varieties and Bobal. It is surrounded by them entirely and sits on an escarpment overlooking the nearby Hoces de Cabriel Natural park and Castillo La Mancha away in the distance. It was visible but not clear due to a heat haze.

Deposits in the Vineyards!

Deposits in the Vineyards!

The bodega makes its own wines and has a cava with its label which is made for them at Pago de Tharsys as Los  Marcos is beyond the DO Cava boundary. It also commercialises an olive oil ( from olives grown near Jaen) and a new Gin and Vodka… but of this more later!

The bodega is relatively modern dating to 1985 but next month will undergo amplification with a new warehouse, barrel park and more deposits being bought. Currently the bodega can produce about 3.5million litres of wine but only bottles some 500,000 which it sells. The wines can be found in many bars and restaurants, in El Corte Ingles and are distributed by Las Añadas.

Wines destined for the USA

Wines destined for the USA

Whilst we were at the bodega they were preparing a large export order for the United States of America which were heading for a distributor there with their distinct back lables with  the Surgeon Generals Health advice on drinking wine!

They are looking to break into the UK market and are working with Mark O´Neill to this end. O´Neill is a Belfast born Valencia based wine distributor and owner of Verde Marte, specialising in Spanish and South American wines which he sells under his own lables. He is looking to market three wines under the El Renegado lable for the bodega.

El Renegado, Tasting note below.

El Renegado, Tasting note below.

The property is standard in many ways with stainless steel deposits, a modern bottling line and an extensive pumping system. It is spread over a fairly large site and some vineyard land will be lost to the new development.

Down the line of the buildings, past the offices , dining room, barbecue and tasting suite which are used for corporate events and by other organisations, you come to the old Renegado Colonia Agricola and some of the original buildings on the site. Here the old finca with its cooling thick stone walls has a double `Georgian´ style staircase winding its way to the first floor. The whole building and its old dependencies have been converted into bedrooms and apartments, currently used by adventure activities company Aven Sport utilising the facilities in the Cabriel such as rafting , kayaking and cycling. It could also be used as a base for touring holidays in the area especially once the swimming pool is installed as the apartments have their own kitchens.

Some of the Accomodation Available

Some of the Accomodation Available

It is also perfect for other wine tourism based projects.

The bodegas wines are currently marketed under the Capellano, Actum and Actum Colección and Nodus labels.

Nodus Chardonnay

Nodus Chardonnay

In the sala de catas we commenced with Nodus 2013 Chardonnay, which has had three months in French oak and is 12.5%ABV. This white wine is a lemon, pale straw colour with golden-green flashes. It is clean and bright. On the nose there were tropical fruits, apple  and hints of oak. But this is not overoaked, as I have noted before three months seems to be the ideal time in barrica for this variety here in Valencia. In the mouth the wine is full with excellent balancing acidity. Round, smooth and almost creamy this is an excellent wine, perhaps in  the Maconnais style… but with sun!

Our second wine was the Nodus 2013 Bobal Rosado, 12% ABV. This conforms to the classic Bobal rosado style, pale strawberry colour with a violet hue, red fruits on the nose with a floral hint, bubble-gum, boiled sweets. In the mouth the ripe red fruits are perfectly balanced, with a long dry almost mineral finish. Fresh and refreshing yet an accompaniment to some big seafood dishes. Very elegant.

Nodus Bobal Rosado

Nodus Bobal Rosado

Third up we tasted the Actum 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  13%ABV, this is a crianza with 3 months in French oak. It has a deep red cherry colour, with long slow legs. On the nose the ripe red fruit was very marked with an almost blackcurrant,  jammy intensity, the oak just evident. In the mouth the brambly fruit, good body with balanced acidity. Rich , intense a real mouth filler with an easy pass across the palate.

We returned to the whites for the next wine, the El Renegado 2013 with Mark O´Neills label. This is a blend of Macabeo, Chardonnay and Moscatel. Straw colour with green flashes, the chardonnay is balanced by the white flowers and apple from the macabeo and peach/ apricot from the Moscatel. The nose is very distinct and this combination very redolent of another wine we know well. In the mouth it is full-bodied, but elegant, rich and ripe but with perfect acidity, smooth, round, with good volume and a lovely long dry finish. Astonishly good, my favourite on the day! If this is heading for the UK it will be a complete blockbuster!!!

Wines in the Sala de Catas

Wines in the Sala de Catas

The fifth wine was the Actum Colección  2013 another oak aged red from Tempranillo and Syrah.13% ABV this has had no more than 2-3 months in oak. An intense deep  cherry red colour, youthful enough to just colour the glass, on the nose the syrah ( spiky cherry) and tempranillo leather and brambles are individually evident but the hint of oak brings both varieties together perfectly. In the mouth black cherry fruit, red and black summer fruit mingle, with a simple easy pass across the palate this is a round modern wine which is concentrated, expresses the varietal characteristics, is fruity and….is a very modern style of wine….loved it!

Vodka and Gin with the N lable.

Vodka and Gin with the N lable.

Now, the bodega also markets Gin and Vodka, The former N ( for Nodus) Gin VLC is astonishing! So astonishing I forgot to ask the obvious questions. On the back of the bottle it suggests a long list of citrus fruits and herbs and spices like orange, lemon, mandarine, rosemary, liquorice, coriander, cardamom, angelica and sage. It certainly has a marked citrus nose and flavour though the curse of having to drive prevented us from tasting it properly. This is a Valencian gin, not the only one produced here but a real contender to have in the house….I suspect a very light tonic and ice would almost be superfluous!

This may be an old bodega with history and style but it is one with a modern future making wines for todays markets and spirits for todays trends!

Thank you to Gori ( Gregorio) for a comprehensive visit.

 

 

After the Cata

After the Cata

 

 

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