Tag Archives: IGP Castellon

IGP Castelló Show Their Wines in Peñiscola.


Peniscola

 

With a session for professionals from the wine, hotel and restaurant trade and the specialist press on Monday morning and two afternoon sessions, Monday and yesterday  for the public,  IGP Castelló took its wines to Peñiscola.

Indication of Protected Geography is the way in which the EU currently designates new wine areas and despite its long history of wine-making Castellon province is recovering from a 20th century that all bar destroyed the vineyards.

IGP is often seen as a route to obtaining full Denominación de Origen ( DO ) status and this is certainly the aim of bodegas which make up the IGP.

Led by Ismael Sanjuán Monzonis ( President) and Guzman Orero ( Secretary) the IGP has quietly been working its way through the complicated procedures with around 12 of the bodegas in the province. There are more bodegas but not all are ready or able to meet the standards required yet.

Guzman Orero, Masia de la Hoya and Secretary to the IGP.

Guzman Orero, Masia de la Hoya and Secretary to the IGP.

The bodegas in question have all submitted wines for analysis and their production methods have been scrutinized with success leaving the powers in Brussels to fix a date for DO Status to be awarded.

All of this enjoyed the support of the outgoing politicians in the agriculture and tourism departments and hopefully their successors from local elections held recently will continue that.

Ricardo´s blog discovered some of the wines of Castellon originally at the annual wine fair held in Valencia´s dry river bed 5 years ago ( organised by Proava) . Subsequently VÍ vid has been following the progress of the IGP generally and much more specifically the individual bodegas, making regular visits to several to taste wines from the cask or deposit, pre-bottling and subsequently on release. We hope to spend one day at one of our favourite Castellon bodegas picking this years harvest.

Professionals at the Inauguration.

Professionals at the Inauguration.

The IGP has shown its wines regularly in Castellon city, firstly in the Old Casino and subsequently in a local park where they have combined the wine fair with artisan food products .

This fair in Peñiscola was a deliberate attempt by the IGP, (many of whose bodega´s have small production and thus sell their wines to local restaurants) , to improve knowledge of their healthy and quality products.

The morning session was dedicated to introducing this local hostelry trade to the wines and cheese etc to the North of Castellon. Apart from the hostelry trade, bloggers and the local TV company attended.

TV Mediterraneo at Baron D ´Alba.

TV Mediterraneo at Baron D ´Alba.

VÍ vid´s relationships with the producers are well documented with visits to the towns of  Les Useres, Segorbe, Vivers, Vilafamés, Castellon and to individual bodegas such as Roques Negres, Mayo-Garcia, Flors, Baron D´Alba, Mas de Rander, Masia de la Hoya, Ismael Sanjuan , Besalduch  y Valls amongst others, all of which have their own blog post in the archives.

During  the inauguration of the fair by the mayor of Peñiscola, Andrés Martinez, he exalted the local quality produce and said `it should be considered normal to order them in local restaurants and to recommend them to visiting tourists´.

Sergio Rodríguez, Sumiller

Sergio Rodríguez, Sumiller

The press etc then moved upstairs to the Council chamber where an informal tasting of some of the wines on show had been planned. This was opened by Guzman Orero who invited Sergio Rodríguez , Nariz de Bronce in the 2014 competition, to introduce the session. Sergio is sumiller at Restaurante de Mediterraneo del Grao in Castellon. He too spoke of the natural inclination to recommend local quality wines to accompany food served in Castellon´s restaurants. He also spoke a little about Castellon´s distinguished wine history and in particular how their  wines were originally present in the top hotels throughout Argentina.

Each of the eight bodega´s attending then introduce a wine for tasting.

We started with Guzman Orero´s Syrah from Masía de la Hoya. 13.5% ABV with 12 months in different oak barrels. We rated this very highly, a medium bodied cherry red wine with long glycerinous legs. Elegant cherry fruit nose, soft oak and smooth tannins in the mouth, this is a rich, round ripe wine with a lovely long finish.

Second wine was the 2013 Syrah, Alvaro Gil from Bodegas TorreGil. This is a new bodega to us, a bodega which has arrangements with other bodegas for the elaboration, storage and bottling of their wines. A little lighter in colour, garnet even, it has had 10 months in French oak. On the nose ripe fruit, almost brambly, mature fruit, in the mouth it was a sensation! A very nice fruity , easy drinking red with real class. We hope to meet the owner again next week to learn more about this `bodega´and its wines!

Wines from DiVinos y Viña

Wines from DiVinos y Viña

The next wine was an `Odisea´ from Bodegas De Vinos i Viñas. This Segorbe based bodega has so far eluded a visit from us and when Tofol and Carmina return from the Baleares where they also have vines, we will catch up with them! The wine was Odisea 2014 Bonicaire, Ull de llebre and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first variety is found very rarely, we have encountered it in the Alto Turia and Terres dels Alforins of DO Valencia as well as in Castellon. Well made , often into Rosado it is excellent. The second variety is the local name for Monastrell. This wine was much brighter, younger and deeper in colour. Bramble fruit, tobacco leaf, but ripe fruit. Tannins kicked in after an easy pass and for us this needed a little more time in bottle. Good wine though!

Next we tasted the L ´Alcalaten , Bodegas Les Useres 86 Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon  with 12 months in American oak. This from the bodega which is not a coop but had 86 growers who founded it, hence the name! A younger , fresher fruitier wine, the fruit on the nose almost sweet and concentrated. In the mouth smooth, brambly fruit, Tempranillo at its best.

Wines from Bodegas Les Useres.

Wines from Bodegas Les Useres.

Juan Domingo Tarrega whose bodega this is has had much advice and consultancy from Michel Poudou, the legendary french wine-maker who also used to look after Chozas Carrascal. Mas de Rander, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from Benlloch , 14.5% ABV is a big wine in every sense. Intense black cherry, opaque and with long slow glycerinous legs. On the nose, fruit, liquorice, and oak. In the mouth very big, round , smooth tannins and a very long finish. Can´t wait to taste the newer vintages from deposit and cask!

Juando Tarrega, Mas de Rander.

Juando Tarrega, Mas de Rander.

The Clotàs Tempranillo (with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) from Bodegas Vicente Flors is another big wine at 14% +ABV. Vicente is one of our favourite bodegueros. This genial ex-bank manager will spend hours patiently explaining wine-making techniques and given that he did not come to this business till he retired and took over a derelict family building and recovered the vineyards his reputation is awesome!

Bodegas Flors.

Bodegas Flors.

 

Intense, deep, opaque black, very  black cherry colour. On the nose this wine is redolent of very mature fruits of the forest, violet floral notes and spice, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

In the mouth dry, well-balanced, lots of fruit with chocolate and roasted coffee in a long finish.

On what was a very hot day we were to end with two whites.

The first was the Baron, D´Alba Gewurztraminer/ Viognier 2014. We tasted and commented on this wine just six weeks ago when we visited on one of our tasting tours. The wine was ready to be bottled. All I am going to say is that this white is floral and fruity on the nose, with huge aromatic depth. In the mouth it is huge , full of citrus, white fruit such as apricot, spice, mandarine peelings. The acidity is perfectly balanced…this is heading to be our best white wine of 2015!

Victor Bellmunt Introduces his Brut Espumoso.

Victor Bellmunt Introduces his Brut Espumoso.

Finally Victor Bellmunt showed his Ildum Vinarius Espumoso de Castellon, Bellmunt and Oliver Brut from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Cabanes made in the traditional manner with 15 months in rima. This wine won the silver prize at the recent Proava cava and Espumosos fair.

IGP Bodegueros and their Wines.

IGP Bodegueros and their Wines.

 

 

On the nose this wine has ripe green apple and patisserie. With evolution there is a touch of tropical fruit, pineapple. In the mouth full, rich, appley, creamy and fresh. A very long finish lacking only a little depth in the bubbles.

Following the tasting we visited the artisan cheese company Tot de Poble some of whose products we had recently tasted with white rioja wines.

Also showing were Guadirium, an internet based shop selling jamones and salchichones, several of which we tried.

Cutting Jamon , Guadirium.

Cutting Jamon , Guadirium.

KM0 were selling a range of artisan beers and cheeses from Cati and several of the bodegueros were now trying the craft ales, the heat having finally got to them!

KM0 with Cheeses from Cati

KM0 with Cheeses from Cati

Magistratus were showing a similar range of fruit and vegetable marmalades which are becoming incredibly popular here with cheese plates and local artisan breads.

We hope the public sessions have gone as well. This was a sensible initiative which has attracted a lot of publicity…hopefully it has increased knowledge of the wines and gourmet foods from Castellon not just around Peniscola but more widely!

VÍ vid Tasting in Peñiscola.

VÍ vid Tasting in Peñiscola.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Visit to Bodega Masia de la Hoya, Segorbe, IGP Castellon.


Masia Hoya

Guzman Orero Clavero was the first wine-maker from Castellon that I met….some three years ago now. At the time I was struck by the enthusiasm he had for what then was an emerging revival of a historically important wine-making tradition in Castellon and the quality of his own wines from the Masia de la Hoya. I have met him three or four times since and he has always been keen to talk about progress and bringing wines from Castellon up to  IGP status, the step before full Denomination of Origin ( D.O.)

The last time we met was in Benlloch in March at the local agricultural fair ( see archives March 24 2013). Following a tasting of four of his current wines I was keen to visit the bodega for myself and Guzman, who has always pointed out that the bodega is not geared up for wine-tourism, suggested I come in May when the vines were in bud.

Deposits in the Bodega.

Deposits in the Bodega.

Yesterday I had the privilege to visit the bodega on the outskirts of Segorbe, the vineyards in the hidden valley in the hills and the offices in the centre of town.

I could not fail to feel the sense of history, the  co-incidences over centuries as Guzman described his and previous owners experiences as we toured the property.

The working part of the bodega is opposite the family garden nursery run by his sister. The Masia de la Cruz is an ancient site with an old bodega on it. Historically it was a place for waggoners to rest their horses on their long journeys….the `Cruz´element having nothing to do with the church on this occasion. For all that Guzman works here on his wines in cramped conditions, the yard is full of very modern wine-making equipment including a peristaltic pump and high level sorting table…………the press also being at a higher level allowing the waste to be dropped directly into trailers to avoid cleaning-up after the harvest……a good ergonomic practice!

Here Guzman also has a small barrel park, laboratory, equipment store and bottling line but once  bottled the wines are labelled in the offices as there is no room for that part of the equipment in the bodega! Here he explained how he had started, full of hope, in 2004 and the crop was almost ruined by severe hailstorms. An agricultural engineer by trade and a newly qualified  enologist he was left to salvage what he could and spent the year with three small deposits experimenting with fermentation, developing flavours etc. From these lessons came Orero Seleción his top wine.

Guzman in the Barrel Park.

Guzman in the Barrel Park.

In the barrel park he showed us the Syrah quietly ageing in a mixture of Limousin, Vosges, American and Rumanian oak, 4-5 year old barrels where it will remain until it has been there two years. Next year he hopes to invest in new barrels.

From here he took me to the vineyards, in a natural valley surrounded by high wooded hills, overlooked by the ancient Masia de la Hoya. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited with glimpses through gaps in the hills to more Northern parts of Castellon province. In the base of the valley neat rows of Monastrell, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Merlot stand out, each row with its marker identifying variety, clone and year of planting between 2002 and 2005. The soil is easy draining clay without too much stone despite the run-off from the high hills. The plan is to plant more vines to bring the current 14 hectares up to 25 in total.  All the varieties are red, homage to his father who loved red wine! Guzman explained the reason for planting the vines at half-metre intervals in double espalda. The trick was one he learnt from the Perez family of Clos Martinet  and ensures the bunches of grapes are small and loose bunched which generally gives fresh fruity wine with lots of colour.

The old Masia itself is in a state of part restoration. Guzman´s father had intended that the bodega would eventually move here in total and work on the Masia and the new facilities had commenced in 2009 but came to a stop on cost grounds later. Nonetheless part of the old chapel had been restored, part of the old building pulled down, exposing the old `lagars´where the grapes were trodden by foot, the new equipment shed and bottle store built into the hill below the Masia and the large water deposits, fed by a natural spring .

The old Masia.

The old Masia.

Inside Guzman told me were old wine tanks and evidence of a press.   Outside ancient table grape vines wound their way over the supports on a terrace and water from the natural spring gurgled into a `lavadero´before falling away in a conduit towards the bottom of the valley. In the back wall of the Masia sits the frame of the rose window in the chapel . This is the bodega´s logo.

Looking Over the Vines.

Looking Over the Vines.

Guzman explained that none of the history of wine-making was known when they bought the property. They had purchased it on the grounds that it would support fruit trees, in line with the family business run from Seville in which Guzman had worked for ten years before returning to Segorbe. However the local library turned up papers going back to 1884 from which it emerged the tenants renting the land had not paid their rent ( wine) to the local Catholic seminary for three years! The reason it turned out was that they had suffered from hail and permission was being sought from the Bishop to allow them to continue there. Further research showed wine was being made on the property as early as 1773. Guzman said he felt very at ease with his predecessors and the shared experience of the hailstorms in his first vintage.

Guzman Explains the Planting Policy.

Guzman Explains the Planting Policy.

We left the valley, somewhat reluctantly and I followed Guzman´s car back down the dirt tracks and under the old narrow railway bridges which would certainly stop tourist coaches ever getting to the property! We finished our tour in the old offices in the centre of town where I selected some wines for an upcoming tasting.

Tasting notes for the wines appear in my 24 March blog. Suffice it to say they are excellent and a testament to the enthusiasm and skill of this personable and particular wine-maker under whom the bodega will undoubtedly continue to grow as long as sales of wine continue and time is not diluted by his role as Secretary of the Terres de Castellon group of wine makers.

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