Tag Archives: Coviñas

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.

Coopera Sumiller Seleccion 2015, A Huge Step!



In a very interesting and most enjoyable ceremony involving music and poetry six of Valencia´s best Cooperative Bodegas introduced twenty new wines to an invited audience in the `Merchants Palace´ in Calle Caballeros.

The Organisers

The Organisers

The event was organised by the Federation of Valencian Sumillers (FASCv) , whose President Mari Lu Martin had invited VÍ vid  to participate, and the Coop Federation responsible for agricultural and food products whose HQ the palace is. It commenced with an opening welcome from Mari Lu and Vicent Insa of the Coop Federation.

VÍ vid, Ready for the tasting

VÍ vid, Ready for the tasting


The sumilleres took their places and a tasting, tutored by the representatives of the individual  bodegas commenced with Pablo Cortés of the Moixent Coop, San Pedro Apostol, and three wines from their Clos de la Vall  range. And what a start it was, beginning with one of VÍ vid´s favourite white wines, the oak aged Pedro Ximenez. This wine from a variety associated with sweet wines from Jerez, is a pale gold colour but it is on the nose and in the mouth that it shines! One of the most complex noses I have come across has citrus fruit, white flowers, citrus and tropical notes followed in the secondary notes after swirling the glass by honey, figs acacia, dried fruit, nuts vanilla and orange blossom ( orange). It does not disappoint in the mouth either with its ripe fruits, complexity of flavours and a round very long finish.

Mari Lu Martin and Vicent Insa introduce Pablo Cortes

Mari Lu Martin and Vicent Insa introduce Pablo Cortes


This was followed by the Clos de la  Vall Tinto Negre a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Monastrell. Deep cherry red with good glycerinous legs, the nose is full of blackcurrant, cherry and güindas, ( a type of cherry preserved in alcohol) and marmalade. 6 months in barrica gives this wine good  fruit, easy tannins, hints of güindas ( from the Monastrell) and it is a perfectly balanced , rounded wine with a long finish.


Finally from this bodega came the Clos de la  Vall Vino Autor from the local Mandó variety. 10% of the wine is Monastrell and it is a deeper black cherry colour than the previous wine. Smoother on the nose and lighter this has hints of morello cherry on the nose. It is a variety which needs care during the growing season and is generally better with ageing in French oak, and this wine repays that care with its slightly rustic finish, a distinct very pleasant wine.

Maria Angeles, La Viña

Maria Angeles, La Viña

Next came Maria Angeles from La Viña whose wines we are very familiar with and very happy to use in tastings. We started with the single variety Juan de Juanes Petit Verdot which has had eight months in second use oak. This gives the wine a softness and less harsh effects from the wood, notable on the nose which has fresh red fruit and blue flowers ( violet), a meaty mouthful, well-integrated and balanced wine.

Petit Verdot, La Viña

Petit Verdot, La Viña

The Icono Special Selection 2013 is a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Tintorera and Monastrell with ageing in French and American Oak. Another deep black cherry wine with mature  fruits, floral notes on the nose and in the mouth mature black and red fruit against a background soft tannins. Another wine with a long finish.

Finally we tasted the Venta del Puerto 12, one of the bodegas flagship wines with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah  and  Merlot, blended and then aged in oak. The wine is cardinal red, with a fruity but very pleasant oaky nose dominated by blackberry and blackcurrant fruit in the mouth. Very well-balanced and a very competitive price for the quality.

Joan Pico. Baronia de Turis

Joan Pico. Baronia de Turis

Joan Picó, Technical director from Baronia deTuris was the next to present the new wines from this Bodega. We had been invited to the press launch for these wines last week, aimed at the restaurant trade and a departure for the bodega better known for supermarket wines.

We were impressed by the new Son dos Dias 2015 a fresh dry Moscatel, pale yellow, with a fresh aromatic nose of apricot , lychee and mango and in the mouth light, fresh, expressive which opens out leaving a fuller long apricot fruit finish.


Note taking.

Henri Marc is the name of their new brand for monovarietal reds from vines planted around 15 years ago. The bodega is famed for its traditional wines but they too are stepping out of this mold to experiment with quality wines. The first of two was a Syrah. This is a variety which generally grows at about 650m and more above sea level and needs the temperature changes between night and day to function at its best. These vines are planted in the Valencian hinterland at about 350m where the difference in temperatures is far less marked. However, the bodega has achieved a wonder with this wine. Very good red fruit, forest fruits and a touch of minerality in the nose, in the mouth an explosion of fruit with smooth tannins and a long fruity finish.

Second wine from the range is the Merlot, a touch more classic than the Syrah. A very short period in French oak has given this wine a roundness, damson, plum, deep fruit but  not too mature. In the mouth the variety grown here can give a bitter finish. This wine avoids that with a nice oaky finish.

Eva from Bocopa.

Eva from Bocopa.

From Bocopa, the DO Alicante bodega producing 70% of the province production came five wines. First was the classic Marina Alta dry Moscatel, consistent every year, and a very popular wine to accompany seafood dishes.

The second wine was the Marina Alta Espumoso, a 7%ABV sparkler made in the traditional way and with natural fermentation. I love this wine, it is fresh, very approachable has a very distinct nose that is initially like fresh asphalt , then herbs, fennel and in the mouth has lovely fruit, lively bubbles….. and is as refreshing as a chilled beer. Love it!

Third wine was a Chardonnay, pale gold in colour from a run of just 11,000 bottles and a departure from the bodegas normal style. Marked in the nose by its brioche, bread, patisserie overlaying tropical fruit in the mouth it displays nice Chardonnay characteristics in the French Challonaise style. A worthy new addition to their range.

Sumilleres at Work

Sumilleres at Work

The Laudum Crianza is Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, garnet in colour and with mature fruit on the nose. In the mouth it has body and with good fruit and Vanilla and a long finish.

The Laudum Roble with its distinct columnar bottle  is a blend of Monastrell and Syrah aged in three different types of oak, French , American and Hungarian. Deep garnet in colour and violet at the edge it is pure jam on the nose, figs, dates and vanilla. On entry you note the oak but it is a very fresh, easy to drink with a deep creamy finish.

We are looking forward to getting to know these wines better at the Bodegas Valencia launch on tomorrow.

El Villar.

El Villar.

El Villar, the Cooperative from Villar de Arzobispo showed three wines from the basic Laderas range, popular in bars and restaurants across Valencia. The white is Merseguera with 30% Macabeo in the blend and has a fresh floral nose. in the mouth it is typically dry, with fresh fruit flavours and a long dry mineral finish.

The rosado is a blend, also. In this case Tempranillo with Bobal it is traditionally bright strawberry in colour, fresh strawberry and raspberry nose and typical fruity, bubblegum flavours, A light very easy drinking wine.

Finally the Tinto from Tempranillo was garnet in colour, forest fruit flavours and bramble fruit. Good fruit in the mouth, very round and quite full. Easy drinker.

Diego Morcillo, Coviñas.

Diego Morcillo, Coviñas.

Last but by no means least Diego Morcillo, technical Director of Coviñas showed three wines from  this Requena based Bodega who have been making great strides recently with innovative wines.

The Marques de Plata Brut Nature Cava is yellow with green flashes, small well-integrated bubbles and again has plenty of patisserie and brioche on the nose with white flowers and hints of fennel from the Macabeo. A really good attack in the mouth, smooth, with good volume, and a finish full of mature melon fruit.

The Al Vent Rosado 2014 is one of three wines in this range we regularly show in tastings. It has three months oak ageing which means, when it reaches it second year it has some body to keep it going. Many prefer their Bobal rosados fresh and fruity but this wine has class to go with it! Old rose in colour, it still has lots of fresh fruit but the oak gives it an elegance in the mouth.

Diego presents the cava

Diego presents the cava.

Adnos, the new Bobal Alta Expresion was introduced a year ago and we have followed its progress. It is a wine which amply shows the characteristics of the variety, Deep colour, cherry fruit, liquorice, chocolate both on the nose and in the mouth we love its depth . A fitting finish to a quality tasting.

This of course was only the first part of the evening. The sumilleres withdrew before the competition began. In the second part they were to be presented with one of the wines and using their notes had to identify the wine and write a professional tasting note.

For the record the wine was the Petit Verdot from La Viña and the competition was won by Javier Cantos, Sumiller at our favourite restaurant in Cullera, El Rincon de Faro, enhorabuena Javi!

The rest of the evening was taken up discussing with the bodega´s their new philosophies and aims for the future.

In the Presentatin.

In the Presentation.

If this was a blog about cooperative wines from France it would be very different. The reality is that there is a real purpose behind the philosophy currently in vogue here in Valencia. Firstly all the bodegas are moving more towards bottling wine rather than selling it in bulk although that will always be a source of income for them. Now the mood is to provide quality wines which show varietal characteristics and both satisfy the new market and the demands of a new range of younger wine drinkers.

Many of the new wines are single variety rather than blends but even the latter have their markets as well.

The tasting was interesting because it brought the cooperatives together with the sumillers who recommend their wines in restaurants etc FACSv are to be congratulated for this initiative and for us it was a rare opportunity to look at and compare what  forms the backbone of representative wines in the hostelry trade which tourists and other visitors are most likely to see and drink on a visit to Valencia.

Overall we would give these Coops a big thumbs up!

I’m sure VÍ vid will be enjoying closer relationships with these bodegas and playing our part in showing more of their wines in our forthcoming tastings.





Coviñas Launches New Bobal Tinto in the `Al Vent´ Range.

Publicity Banner for the New Wine


`Al Vent´is the new range from Coviñas the flagship co-operative based in Requena.

Some two years ago this progressive organisations new product committee were looking for something to fill the emerging market for wines aimed at the younger wine-drinker, something with style and a new look in packaging terms as well as a quality product.

The first wine was the 2010 Bobal Rosado, a wine which hit the market with its stylish new bottle and fancy case design but most importantly was a fresh fruity rosado with bags of strawberry, cream and bubble-gum flavours balanced with a fresh acidity making it an easy drinker, something to enjoy with friends on its own, with a good seafood and rice dish but which did not hit you hard in the pocket. I remember drinking this on several occasions and showing it at wine tastings……so the products committee seem to have fulfilled their brief! ( Especially as the wine was selected as best Rosado in the region.)


The Al Vent Range.

With the name and the packaging protected, the search for a white to join the range began . Sauvignon Blanc is not widely grown in Utiel-Requena although Hispano Suizas have a `tour de force´ with theirs. It is a variety which ripens quickly and needs to be picked at its optimum ( a critically short  period)  as Felix Garcia was explaining to me last night. If not the acidity is lost and you might as well throw the grapes away.

However, this was the variety chosen and I first tasted the wine at the Requena sausage fair earlier this year, product of the 2011 vintage. I was amazed at the northern French style nose , all cats pee, elderflower and  gooseberry with a little less of the tropical fruit which sunnier climates can produce. In the mouth it too had a well-balanced acidity making it an easy drinker and a worth addition to the range.

Last night saw the launch of the red wine to complete the range, a Tinto, 100% Bobal in the joven style. Being a co-operative they have access to plots of vines right across the Utiel-Requena plateau with vines as low as 400m above sea level right up to 900m. Diego Morcillo the winemaker at Coviñas explained that the concept for this wine was to make a coupage with some wines from the higher levels, grown in the traditional style and others from lower levels, grown specifically for the fruit flavours and destined for cold fermentation and six months in French and American oak. This means that the elegance and structure which bobal can produce is balanced with maximum extraction of aromatics and fruit flavours in a blend which is lightly filtered before bottling and which will throw a small amount of sediment.


Felix Garcia Approves the New Wine!

The wine was shown chilled as last night temperatures were still around 30 degrees and was bottled just three weeks ago.

It is typically deep, dark, cherry in colour with the bright violet-blue edge which is characteristic of the wine, with good legs. The nose was initially a little muted for me, probably because it needs a little longer in bottle to settle down and a direct result of chilling. However as it warmed up there was a distinct waft of fruit and in the mouth there is plenty of cherry, soft tannins, and with a good long finish with lots of chocolate and coffee cream.

Felix, Miguel Angel Martin of `enocata.com´and I quickly formed an impromptu tasting committee! Our view was unanimously that this is an easy drinking, well made wine, with sufficient fruit and elegance. Overall it is fun wine, one in which  you don´t have to go looking for scents and flavours  as Felix put it!

It is, on the basis of last nights launch a worthy addition to complete this range.

The wine is also aimed at the restaurant trade although it may well be that Coviñas will seek importers for the range ( all three of which sell for about 3.50€ a bottle ) from the UK especially. This time it will be in the specialist market as there is insufficient production to satisfy supermarket chains.

The UK, Germany, Italy and China are seen as destinations for their wines following initial success in these markets. Good news for Aldi´s UK customers looking for more of the `Toro Loco´ Tempranillo  is that there is more on the way! The bodega sold 7 million bottles last year, around 20% more than the year before and exported lots more in bulk.

The launch was held in the 14th Century Palacio del Mercader, a gothic style building in the centre of Valencia which was restored in 1998 before becoming the HQ of the federations of Valencia´s Cooperative movements. The launch was followed by a tasting of the `Al Vent ´range and an impressive finger buffet!

This is an impressive range of easy drinking wines with a very good quality to price ratio and I look forward to finding a local distributor so that I can enjoy more of them over the rest of the year!



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