Tag Archives: Pablo Ossorio

Bodegas Vegamar Launch their 2015 Wines.


Vegamar Monovarietal Range.

Vegamar Monovarietal Range.

Yesterday lunchtime VÍ vid was invited by  Bodegas Vegamar, based in Calles in the Alto Turia district of DO Valencia, to the launch of the new wines from the 2015 vintage together with a new addition to their monovarietal range.

Technical Director Pablo Ossorio and winemaker Maripaz Quilez introduced the new Rosado made from Merlot as well as talking about developments at the bodega to the specialist press, including VÍ vid.

Pablo, whose second year this is as head of the bodega,  spoke of the progress which has been made highlighting the success in selling the majority of the 2014 vintage as well as the improvements which have been made to the wines from 2015.

Technical Director, Pablo Ossorio.

Technical Director, Pablo Ossorio.

2015 has seen a doubling of the production of grapes, not by increasing yield per hectare but by a combination of better weather and the fact that some newer plantings were now producing grapes for wine production.

The bodega´s introduction of monovarietals and their championing of the regional varieties Merseguera ( white wines ),  Garnacha Tintorera ( red wines )  and Moscatel  ( sweet wines) last year was partly experimental and lessons have been learnt. In particular this year they have tried specific yeasts for fermentation which can enhance the  aromas in the wine.

This technique has worked exceptionally well with the Merseguera which can at times have almost no bouquet ( or nose). With hints of almond and apricot kernels 2015 it is incredibly expressive on the nose with lots of floral and herbal notes, fresh and attractive. In the mouth it was an unctuous wine with good body and a lovely acidity, well-balanced and shows just what can be achieved with the variety.

The Vegamar Team.

The Vegamar Team.

The Sauvignon Blanc also had a very aromatic mediterranean nose for the variety, with tropical fruits as well as floral notes in abundance . In the mouth this was full and round, a big wine.

The third wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with Moscatel. We have noted a number of white wines from the 2014 vintage made in this style, taking a classic dry variety and blending it with  aromatic notes. These wines are generally big and fruity on the nose but remain dry in the mouth, the art of the exercise being to get the percentage of the second variety correct so that it does not dominate the palate. Moscatel is a classic variety to acheive this but other bodegas use Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay to acheive a similar result. This wine fits the criteria with the freshness of the Sauvignon Blanc (68% ) on the nose and the aromatics of the Moscatel (32%) giving a very pleasant and complex bouquet. In the mouth the acidity was perfect and the wine is rich with a long full finish.

Merlot Rosado

Merlot Rosado

The new wine is a Rosado from the Merlot variety. This is a pale rose colour, very similar to the fashionable French rosés, though not onion skin in colour! On the nose the fruit coming from such a pale wine was remarkable. In the mouth the fruit and acidity combined perfectly to give quite a big , dry rosado that will match well with many dishes but would be very pleasant on its own. A perfect wine for the English market.

Vegamarteambottles

The first of the reds is also a pure Merlot and it was here the fruity aromas of the variety are immediately obvious. Plums, herbs and a touch of minerality on the nose were replicated perfectly in the mouth. It is a young wine, intended for drinking now and is certainly very characteristic of the variety.

The second red was a Garnacha Tintorera, a variety which also had started to die out as the vineyards of the Alto Turia from Lliria to the West were being grubbed up and replaced by oranges. We loved the colour, the bouquet which is at the same time fruity and spicy and which in the mouth was very well-balanced, the tannins smooth. This can be such a good variety and Vegamar can take credit for producing a wine which should be very popular.

Vivid.

Vivid.

To finish we also tried the bodega´s Moscatel, a variety which can be incredibly aromatic on the nose with apricot and peach fruit, but in the mouth can be fat and almost oily. This wine has preserved the aromatics but with a lighter touch in the mouth and more residual sugar which makes it more easily drinkable.

Vegamar can be rightly pleased with the 2015 vintage which has produced a selection of wines which as well as being immensely drinkable are a good price for the quality starting at 6€ a bottle.

´The best noses know us and recognise us.¨

 

 

 

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BOBOS, Hispano+Suizas Launch their New Bobal!


Bobos Finca La Borrach 2011.

Bobos Finca La Borracha 2011.

When Hispano+Suizas launched in 2006, the jointly Spanish/Swiss owned bodega with a high emphasis on the quality of its products, the owners could hardly have expected or dreamed about the spectacular trajectory the bodega would take. Consistently high   scores in the Penin guide for their cavas, backed up by high scores in Parker, then the Pinot Noir Cava Tantum Ergo being named best Cava in Spain finally has finally led to the bodega being named the best in Spain by contributors to Verema, the countries most important wine website with its many forums.

The bodega released a Pinot Noir/ Bobal blend as a dulce a couple of years ago and Bobal has been included in the red wine Quod Superius since its inception.

The bodega never had a wine made with pure Bobal, yet the bodega building, the Finca La Borracha , is surrounded by vines from this variety with 70+ years of age. All that has now changed with the launch of a new wine, Bobos, which I was privileged to attend on Saturday.

Aperitif on the terrace with Pablo Ossorio

Aperitif on the terrace with Pablo Ossorio

I had visited the bodega in September last year, ( Archives 26 September 2012) and my blog from then deals with philosophy of the owners.

Together with around twenty wine experts, wine and food bloggers, journalists and food importer/exporters I arrived to a Cava welcome on the spectacular terrace where the lunch table was being set up.

In the Tasting Suite.

In the Tasting Suite.

The visit this time started with a tasting of grapes from the Bobal variety to introduce us to its characteristics as well as giving us an insight into the work of the wine-maker. There were grapes from two bunches. The first were from typically big healthy bunches of Bobal, black with a cottony down in places, big compact grapes, heavy. The second was from the sort of bunch wine-makers looking to do something special,  seek out, The grapes on this bunch were smaller and less tightly packed.

Bunches of Bobal Grapes.

Bunches of Bobal Grapes.

Firstly we pulled the stalk from the top of the grape and compared the difference, those from the bigger bunch were still green and those from the smaller had started to turn red inside the grape.

Next we opened the grape and looked at the pulp, taking the pips out. We compare the pulp, chewing on it to release the sugars and the juices, the smaller ones clearly having more concentrated, ripe fruit. The skins were chewed to compare the colour and taste the tannins and acidity and then even the pips were crunched between the teeth to see what was released, colour and tannins wise.

Tasting the Grapes.

Tasting the Grapes.

Pablo Ossorio went on to explain more about the Variety and its importance before the tour advanced to the fermentation room in the bodega.

Here we were to taste first the must from recently harvested  Chardonnay, direct from the deposit, which was full of flavours of green apple, grass and banana. Next we tried the Chardonnay fermenting in the open-topped barrels. This had changed character and with about 4.5% ABV now had a much more grapefruit flavour.

Fermenting Chardonnay.

Fermenting Chardonnay.

The Pinot Noir with its intense rose-pink colour, also fermenting in barrel was fresh and showed good fruit even at this early stage.

All these wines are protected from oxidation by the cover of Carbon-dioxide which sits over the wine, a bi-product of the fermentation process which is carefully temperature controlled. These wines when finished will become the base for the bodegas cavas, undergoing blending as appropriate and then second fermentation and ageing on the lees in bottle.

We moved on to see the grapes arriving and being stored in cold cabinets to keep them fresh for fermentation  when space is available in the bodega. Then it was down into cellars to see the barrels where the wines are stored, the cava ageing quietly and the bottling process.

Back upstairs a lunch had been prepared, traditional local fare, such as jamon, cheese, anchovies with fresh cheese, ajoarriero, , local sausages such as Longaniza de Pascua, sliced and then a barbecue of morcilla, pancetta, gueños, chorizos, lamb chops, served with the local potatos and fried eggs before fresh fruit and local pastries for dessert.

Laid up for Lunch.

Laid up for Lunch.

But what of Bobal and the new wine?

As a variety Bobal is old and well documented since the 9th century. It is widely planted in La Manchuela, DO Utiel-Requena and DO Ribera del Jucar. It has several names including Bobos, Requena, Benicarló, Provechon, Balau, Balaura, Tinto de Requena, Requeni and Valenciana Tinta amongst others. As an old synonym Bobos was considered appropriate for this new entrant to the market.

It is a problematic variety despite its great resistance to infection and oidium in particular. It is drought resistant but needs rain at the right time and has, of course reactions to soil and other conditions. Age of the vines is important, it is a useful wine when young for blending because it has good colour which does not fade and it does not dominate other varieties. For this reason much is exported for use elsewhere.  When older it makes superb rosado´s and until the millenium this was considered its merit.

But with age, and we are talking vines with 70+ years of age a great change takes place, the bunches cease to be so large and compact, becoming smaller, in grape size and overall volume, the berries are more concentrated with better colour depth of flavour and the wine has potential for ageing…as a number of local bodegas are beginning to find.

Pouring Bobos 2011.

Pouring Bobos 2011.

Grapes from the 2011 vintage were selected and placed in 400 litre American oak barrels.  Here they were macerated at 8ºC for 4 days. Then a gentle pressing released the juice which once fermenting was then passed to French Allier oak for ten months before bottling.

This has given a wine with very specific characteristics. It is a very deep colour with a bright red edge, very typical of the variety. Giving it a swirl in the glass we waited for the legs to appear…..and waited! When they did deem to appear they were incredibly slow, long and hugely glycerinous ( the wine has 10.7gms of glycerine per litre) and they coloured the glass. I have rarely seen anything move more slowly!

On the nose the fruit has a maturity, with coffee, balsamic notes predominating, clove, red fruit jam, very concentrated but a medium intensity, not too powerful.

In the mouth the tannins were smooth, the fruit gently opening then almost exploding. It is the acidity which is most notable, but is fresh strawberry fruit and vanilla that I noted in the long finish. In time this acidity will diminish and the wine already has a harmony between the fruit, alcohol  and the wood.

2012 Left, 2011 Right.

2012 Left, 2011 Right.

We were also fortunate to try the 2012 barrel sample. This has had 10 months in 225 litre French oak including fermentation.

It is currently a dense wine, similar colour to the 2011, maybe a little more garnet in the centre. On the nose there is more fruit than wood, red and black, concentrated and jammy. In the mouth the wood is soft, the wine very elegant, silky and very nicely balanced.

Bobos is and will be an excellent addition to the wines from this leading bodega, in perfect harmony with the philosophy and house style which is quality above all else. I look forward to tasting this into the future because I am sure it has potential for a long life! Both have 13.5% ABV.

My thanks also go once again to Pablo, Marc and Rafa for the invitation and hospitality and to Paco Alonso for organising the event and including me in it!

 

And to Accompany Lunch....

And to Accompany Lunch….

News from the IX Noche del Vino de la DOP Valencia.


 

 

Opening the White at Aranleon.

Opening the White at Aranleon.

Once again the organisers of the Noche del Vino had chosen a warm evening in June for this annual look at developments in the DO, in its Bodegas and to try new wines as well. It is also a night to catch up with the many friends and acquaintances made over the last few years! This is the night that professionals from the press, hotel and restaurant trades mingle with the bodega owners and distributors of their wines. interestingly this year it clashed with the equivalent fair in DO Alicante and a serious tasting offered by the distributors in Castellon although you would not have noticed any shortage in the number of people attending this event!

I started with Aranleon, one of several bodegas whose vineyards are in Utiel-Requena but choose the Valencia DO to market their wines. The bodega has been very lucky to avoid this years devastating hailstorms which have done considerable damage in the area.The new white Blanco Solo 2012 is a blend of Chardonnay, Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc at 13%ABV. It is clean and fresh with glycerinous legs and a well-balanced fruit which is quite rich with a big clean acidity. A big wine.

 

Bisila Range.

Bisila Range.

The Verdil from Daniel Belda is also fresh but lighter in style and it seems amazing that in just four months the wine, which is always the first wine in the Northern Hemisphere to be marketed each year, will be available in the 2013 vintage! Belda has not been quite so lucky this year with a large area of the Chardonnay crop  in their Fontanars vineyards destroyed by hail.

Also from Fontanars I tried the 2012 vintage of the Brote white from Dominio de los Pinos. This is a barrel fermented blend of Viognier and Verdil and is a whopping 14.5%ABV. Old gold, clean and bright, with very long slow, fat glycerinous legs. The wine is unctuous too. On the nose white flowers, acacia and tropical fruits. In the mouth very full, peach, clean acidity and a very big silky mouthful of wine.

Nearby were the wines from Ladron de Lunas, another Requena based bodega  and marketing well with sales abroad. They now also make the wines for the African Literacy project, Bisila wines which I wrote about in February 2012 when the wines were made by Torre Oria. I tried the  Sauvignon Blanc 2012, 12.5%ABV, a fresh white with a big gooseberry nose and clean fresh acidity and ripe fruit in the mouth. To me this seemed to be French in style , very aromatic and pleasant. The Chardonnay also has a hint of the Macon style about it. 12.5%ABV and with a month in barrel, it is straw yellow, quite restrained on the nose but in the mouth well-balanced, dry and a long finish.

Arquis supporting Muscular Dystrophy.

Arquis supporting Muscular Dystrophy.

 

And on the subject of Bodegas helping charities Torrevellisca from Fontanars were showing their new wines from the Arquis range which support a muscular dystrophy charity. The Primum Selección 2010 is 25% Merlot, 25% Tempranillo and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and is bright red, intense with ruby flashes and good legs. On the nose oaky and in the mouth smooth, easy drinking, with good mature red fruits.

Back to the whites and a very good one at that from Casa de las Vides, the Agullent bodega which I visited last year, ( Archives 2 June 2012) This is a blend of Macabeo, Verdil, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc and 13% ABV. Very clean and bright, fresh from its blue German style bottle, the nose is complex and full of white flowers, ripe fruit, pear, melon, peach and is quite spicy. In the mouth this complexity is less apparent, a nice fresh clean wine good acidity but well-balanced with lots of fruit flavours.

The Rosae ( rosado) is frankly one of the best I have ever tasted. From Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon it is rose in colour, smells of fresh red fruit with floral notes ( rose) and in the mouth is fresh, dry , fruity and very satisfying. This is the wine I heard the most compliments about on the night.

There are of course wines from other parts of the DO and from higher vineyards. From Siete Aguas the wines from Sanchez Zahonera are at about 900m above sea-level. This young bodega won a gold in Brussels for  the first vintage they made! Now producing four wines and the white  Bressols from Merseguera is an excellent example of what can be produced at these levels from a dry white grape. Alfonso Sanchéz the winemaker has produced a white which is fresh, clean and bright and with a floral nose. In the mouth this searingly dry variety is easy to drink with an aromatic intensity and is  fresh and fruity. Long dry finish.

Wines from Polo Monleon

Wines from Polo Monleon

Not far from here are the vineyards and the Bodega of the Polo Monleon family in Titaguas, one of the underated bodegas of the Alto Turia. Under the Hoya de Castillo label Manuel, the current winemaker is producing a range of four excellent but sadly little known wines. The white which is a blend of Merseguera and Macabeo ( 20%) is a very good wine. Pale lemon in colour I was surprised at the depth and richness of the fruit on the nose, white fruits such as melon and apple. In the mouth an initial sparkle the wine is full, well-balanced and with well balanced acidity. This bodega should be the subject of next weeks post.

Also high up above Valencia in the village of Alcublas (Valentino) the coop is producing two very good wines this year. The white is a pure Merseguera called Balcon de Valencia and it too is a fresh, easy drinking dry white with fresh fruit on the nose and in the mouth. But it is the red Tempranillo Palacia which has surprised me this year. Normally not a wine I would buy in the past,  the 2012 joven is full of fruit and a real easy drinker! The bodega sells both wines for just 2.15€ a bottle and produces a traditional Moscatel Mistela and a range of excellent award-winning olive oils. An easy drive from Valencia it is worth a visit for the views as well!

Reymos 1918

Reymos 1918

From the Moscatel growing area around Cheste, Chiva and Turis, the bodega in Cheste has increased its range of sparklers from the variety, in this case a `cava´ style called Reymos 1918. The bodega is of course part of the giant Anecoop brand and the bottle has a label designed by Montesinos. A brut nature the wine is winning prizes already. Clean fresh with hints of peach and orange skin on the nose it is fresh in the mouth with a creamy long full finish. A serious wine if a little overpriced for me.

The four sub-zones of the DO ( Alto Turia, Valentino, Clariano ( which includes the Terres dels Alforins) Moscatel and of course bolstered by the wines of Utiel-Requena using the Valencia DO have a wide diversity and produce wines for all tastes. Sadly there was no time to try all 200 wines on show given the crush and the social nature of the event. At least next year i can concentrate on some of the bodegas I missed this year!

Finally it is of course the event which acts as prize-giving for the DO. Chief amongst the worthy winners was Pablo Ossorio, technical director at Murviedro and one of the owners of Hispano-Suizas who was recognised with the DO´s Order of Merit.

 

 

 

Pablo Ossorio, Order of Merit.

Pablo Ossorio, Order of Merit.

 

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