Vera de Estenas aparece en el número de mayo de la revista mensual japonesa Vinoteque.
Para los pocos que no dominen la lengua japonesa 😉 adjuntamos traducción al inglés.
The pride of Utiel Requena. Depth of Indigineous Grape Variety “Bobal”
DO Utiel Requena, situated in the terrain de Meseta, in Valencia prefecture Eastern Spain. Bobal, the indigineous grape variety in this region is now rising up. DO Utiel Requena had a master class and tasting seminer at FOODEX JAPAN 2019 in March. Utiel-Requena wines supported by Ms.Toshiko AKEHI as journalist, and Mr.Takayuki KIKUCHI as sommelier joined together and talked about wines of Bobal.
High Altitude and Plenty of Sun. Easy to do organic farming.
Utiel Requena Appellation of Origin is in the municipality of Valencia facing Mediterranean Sea and located 70km northwest inside and includes 9 municipalities recognized as the area for this designation. The birth of Utiel-Requena wines is in 1932, but the history of grape growing and winemaking is long before 2700 years. It is said that Phoenicians settled since B.C.7 teached to local Ibero people. A piece of Amphore and some seeds of grape in Phoenician age were discovered and 16 Lagar fermentors made by limestone were also founded.
“Surrounded by mountains and hills, flowing 2 rivers named Jucar and Cabriel, there are various soil types and microclimate. The altitude is high from 700 to 900m. The hour of sunshine per year is 2700 hours. Average rainfall is 400mm. It has almost no rain during the maturation moment so that grapes enjoy plenty of sun and very low risk of illness. It can make producers easy to do sustainable farming without chemical products” explained Ms.Akehi.
Bobal is the star. Produce high quality wines from old vines.
The whole surface of vineyards is 34.478 ha. Where 90% is red grape variety and Bobal has 70,5 %. Now 5.532 growers plant Bobal, and the 51% of the vineyards planted are vines older than 40 years. The name of Bobal was already seen in the 15th century historical records, but it is said that Utiel-Requena is the origin of Bobal and planted before 15th century.
The vigor of old vine is low and its yield is also low so that old vines can produce high quality with high content of polyphenol. In addition, “Bobal can produce wines with intense color that keeps for long time if we compare it with other red varieties. Also, has good structure, very strong tannin and balanced acidity. But after 21st century, some producers make wines from old vines using 100% Bobal and are successful to drawing out its potential. Such wines are highly evaluated around the world.” said Ms.Akehi.
Evolution of technique of viticulture and vinification. New generation challenge.
Mr. José Miguel Medina as President of Utiel-Requena Appellation of Origin told that one of the reasons why the quality of Bobal wines is rising up, is an evolution of technique of viticulture and vinification. Especially the number of young generation with highly educated is increasing. There is a viti-school of Requena where some of the best well-known winemakers all over the world were graduated.
Recently the number of wineries is increasing because grape growers are establishing new wineries, new comes from other countries also investing into this region. In the last two years, 12 wineries were established.
Global Warming. Favorable influence to Bobal.
In addition, climate change has favorable influence to Bobal. “Bobal has late ripening variety. Many years ago, when harvesting used to be in October, it was more difficult to mature perfectly and therefore, tannin of wine from Bobal could be wilder and its acidity stronger. But now, because of global warming, the temperature of maturity moment is higher than the past, so it is possible to pick up grape with well-balanced.
Nowdays, Bobal is perfectly adapted to the soil and weather conditions of the region Utiel-Requena and to the know-how of grape growers. As a result, Bobal becomes fabulous also in drought periods. Producers also make effort in their vineyard to protect strong sunshine by leaving the leaf and try to control to keep fresh acidity and produce wines with long aging potential” Said Mr. Medina.
Wines from Kingdom of Bobal
Tasting was guided and commented by Mr. Kikuchi.
CASA DON ÁNGEL 2014 VERA DE ESTENAS
Owner Mr. Francisco Martinez succeeded the vineyard and cellar which his wife in Requena. He planted international grape varieties and grown them. His son Felix joined in 1994 and he started to focus on Bobal. Now 23ha of whole vineyard (32ha) is dedicated to Bobal. “Aging in allier oak barrel during 18 months. Complex aroma with blackberry, bitter chocolate, vanilla and spice. Well-structured body and rich alcohol content. Souple tannin from well matured fruit. Long and elegant finish. Long aging potential.” Vera de Estenas was certified as Vino de Pago in 2013.
At last, Mr. Medina said “Bobal is our future and dream. Market is always seeking something new and high quality wine. I’m proud of Bobal with high quality and uniqueness in the world.”