Tag Archives: Casa Don Angel 2011

Bobal Masterclass in Valencia.


DO Utiel-Requena continues with its wine educational programme, this time bringing their `Jornadas´ programme to Valencia City itself, with the attendance of VIvid.

Monday and Tuesday 7/8 March saw two very special events which were held in the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture.

In support of the Territorio Bobal initiative to have Utiel-Requena and its predominant grape variety granted UNESCO world heritage status the DO organized two separate events.

The first was a conference on the Bobal variety, its value in agricultural terms, its quality as a producer of wines, and how it has shaped the life of Utiel-Requena.

The second was a tasting of five wines from the variety, exemplary wines which demonstrated the quality, potential, ageing characteristics and versatility of the variety.

Neither the history nor the quality of the wines are any novelty to VIvid. We have followed closely the UNESCO campaign, attending regular presentations and reporting on them, tasting the wines and even presenting them in tutored tastings ourselves, most recently in a training course in the English language for the DO itself.

What made this pair of events different was that they were presented by Jose Vicente Guillem Ruiz ( Pepe) whose standing in the wine world in the Valencian Community is  unparalleled.

Born in 1945 and qualified as an `Agricultural Engineer´ he is a specialist in the industry, management of companies in the sector, has been Director of the Requena  Estación de Viticultura and Enologia and is an expert with links to both the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Quality and the Agriculture Ministry of the Valencian Government.

He is President of the Proava tasting panel for the Concurso de Vinos Valencia, the Provinces most important wine Competition on which VIvid are jurors.

We attended the specialist tasting precisely because we knew we would learn something more about the wines we regularly use! And so it proved to be.

20160308_193748First of the five wines was an Espumoso, Pago de Tharsys Unico 2008, a wine made by the Traditional Method but not allowed to be called a Cava because the Bobal variety is not permitted by the DO. The vines are well known to us, we helped harvest the 2014 vintage. With more than 20 years of age they are from an ecological vineyard. Gold in colour, brilliant with gold flashes, this wine has 20 months on the lees in bottle before disgorging. Fine persistent bubbles rising in spirals from multiple points in the glass, typical summer fruits of apricot, toasted almonds and white flowers on the nose and repetition in the mouth, this is a quality wine with a long, full finish. Elegant.

20160308_195553 - copia

The Parreño Rosado 2015 is a `classic´. Fresh rose in colour with the typical violet edge of the variety on the nose it is all bubble-gum strawberry and pear drop boiled sweets! Fresh, well balanced in the     mouth and with a wonderful acidity and volume, yet fresh and easy to drink. The best vintage we have ever tasted.


Al Vent Bobal 2014 is also a young wine from Coviñas. Black cherry in colour it shows slightly menthol notes, fresh cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as the childrens sweets characteristic of the variety. With notes of a short period in barrel it is unctuous, balanced and seductive. A wine to share with friends.




Caprasia Bobal/Merlot 2014 from Vegalfaro is distinct for the varieties having been picked in mid September and the last week of October, vinified separately then blended after  just three months  in second use oak . Cherry red, with lots of red fruits on the nose the acidity of the Bobal is counterbalanced by the sweet plum fruit of the Merlot. Well balanced, fruity and a delight to drink!



Finally the Casa Don Angel  Bobal 2011 from Vera de Estenas with  18 months in French oak . Cherry in colour but with its characteristic purple edge, something which barely diminishes with age it had a distinctly oaky elegant nose, ripe plum, chocolate, liquorice and smoky notes . Powerful but still young on the nose. In the mouth intense with black fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, cedar wood, an elegant wine with a long finish and many years life ahead of it.

This was a masterclass in all senses of the word, a tasting not to be forgotten.

New Releases from Vera de Estenas. Casa Don Angel Bobal 2011.

Casa Don Angel, Vera de Estenas.

Casa Don Angel, Vera de Estenas.

The artisan, boutique winery which is Vera de Estenas has  been a favourite bodega of mine since I arrived here and first tasted their wines!

I have had the pleasure of visiting the bodega on a number of occasions most notably my first visit in September 2010, ( http://wp.me/p16pqB-6  A Visit to Vera de Estenas). There was also a seminar on quality corks run by Adolfo Miravet from the Sierra de Espedan who still harvests ecological quality cork which are used by the best bodegas in Valencia. There have been one-off visits and informal lunches, visits around Wine Tourism day and generally when wines from the new vintages are released.

Felix Martinez, the owner and wine-maker is now a firm friend and we have enjoyed lunches together and with his family on many occasions.

In the vineyard with Felix Martinez.

In the vineyard with Felix Martinez.

The bodegas wines are consistently good, the Macabeo  and the Rosado from Bobal always fresh, fruity and ideal summer drinkers.

The bodega has a range of wines in differing styles but is undoubtedly best known for the Casa Don Angel, the pure Bobal which is only made from old vines and then only in vintages which merit production.

When the bodega was set up by Felix´s grandfather the aim was to create wines like those from Rioja but the fashion has changed and today the winery produces wine which express much more of the grapes own characteristics, fruit and which have their own personality.

White, Rosado and the Chardonnay, Viña Lidon.

White, Rosado and the Chardonnay, Viña Lidon.

In the last twelve months the Bodega has also completed its passage from a winery in DO Utiel-Requena to the highest status a bodega can achieve in Spain , a Pago. Essentially this is much the same as Chateau status in Bordeaux and requires that the wine is made wholly within the  bodega from grapes grown in the properties own vineyards surrounding the winery, the bottling and all other parts of the process being carried out there. Within Utiel-Requena there are just four properties which have achieved this status for some or all of their wines.

The bodega has been one of the pioneers in researching, developing and marketing the Bobal variety. Felix will tell you happily that even at the turn of the millenium the wine text books dismissed the variety as good for rosado or blending with other varieties but that it had no personality of its own, nor was it worthy of special treatment or ageing!

Vera de Estenas is one of the seven bodegas making up the Associación Primum Bobal, whose youthful bobal was launched two years ago to critical acclaim and the third vintage of which is due to be released soon. This wine is the visible face of a major exploration into the types  ( or clones ) of Bobal, not much of which is documented.

Primum Bobal.

Primum Bobal.

Considering that the variety accounts for 70% of vineyard production in Utiel-Requena this came as a bit of a surprise. But then again the whole variety is an enigma, making as it does, a white version ( very rare) a white cava style wine, rosados, young reds, crianzas and reservas all with quite distinct personalities and of course, it also makes a sweet red when left to mature.

I was one of a small number of bloggers and wine-writers to be present at a very special vertical tasting of ten vintages of the Casa Don Angel Bobal from this bodega ( http://wp.me/p16pqB-aw ) .

So when an opportunity to taste the new vintage as it is released one does not miss it!

Saturday last Felix presented three of his wines in the HQ of Ferevin, the body which runs the annual wine fair in Requena.

First of these was the Merlot, Fermentado en Barrica, Martinez Bermell from the 2012 Vintage which is 14%ABV. The wine is fermented and spends not more than two months in oak. It is a medium bodied plum red wine with a violet edge and long slow legs. On the nose floral notes and grape are followed by a youthful freshness but with a mature cherry fruit and a hint of oak. In the mouth, cherry fruit, easy pass across the palate and good volume with a long red fruit finish make for a very nice wine.

The second wine was the bodegas under-rated Madurado en Barrica also from the 2012 vintage. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo and Bobal. ( 13.5% ABV). This was a deeper black cherry colour also with a violet edge and long legs. On the nose it is more complex, fruity and quite open, oak, mature fruit, jam. In the mouth it is full, round, has smooth tannins, good volume and a long full finish.

Casa Don Angel 2011.

Casa Don Angel 2011.

But the wine we had all come for was the Casa Don Angel 2011 Bobal with eighteen months in French oak. 14.5% ABV. In colour it is deeper still than the previous wine, black cherry with a blue, violet edge, and long slow glycerinous legs. The nose was less open than the last vintage to be released at the same point in its evolution ( the 2009…now sold out!) No wine was made in 2010 because wet weather made the variety too difficult to handle. Nonetheless there was a blackcurrant fruit in the background. In the mouth the entry is marked by sweet tannins, muted fruit and but very full, powerful, meaty…..a wine with a long finish and a long future ahead of it which could possibly have done with an hour in decanter before tasting.

The wine receives its formal presentation  in Valencia City tonight and those attending are in for a treat!



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