With the promise of warmer weather … eventually … and a little bit of rain along the way! … white and rosé wines may become ever more tempting. Yet, there's always a place for a good fresh red.
Bobal is one of those lesser known red grape varieties being discovered and rediscovered by a new generation of fans. It's actually Spain's third most planted grape variety after Airén and Tempranillo. Previously regarded more as a workhorse grape for bulk wine production, it's now being taken much more seriously, as overall quality improves markedly. The grape finds its main home in DO Utiel-Requeña, a small denominación around 75km inland from the city of Valencia, but can also be found in DO Manchuela and DO Ribera del Júcar.
You can read more about Bobal, here on The Write Taste.
Bodega Altolandon sits 1,100 metres above sea level in DO Manchuela. Because of the altitude, grapes grown on this 120 hectare estate benefit from large variations between day and night temperatures. These encourage even ripening and help the grapes retain their natural acidity.
The vineyards are farmed organically, sustainably and biodynamically. Natural fertilisers are used, along with green pruning, where excess shoots are removed from the vines to concentrate and improve the fruit quality. Grapes are hand-harvested and vinified as naturally as possible with native yeasts and minimal intervention. The wines are then aged in French oak or in clay amphorae to retain purity, but build complexity.
Bobal Extreme de Altolandon 2018 (14% ABV) is made from 100% Bobal with spontaneous fermentation. The wine spends four months in third use 225 litre French oak barrels. The name comes from the extreme altitude at which the grapes are grown.
Colour: Deep cherry colour with violet tints.
Nose: Intensely aromatic with aromas of mixed forest berries and red cherries 🍒 with subtle hints of lavender, violets and gentle pepper spice.
Palate: Lush, medium-bodied, fresh and fruity with notes of crunchy strawberries 🍓, loganberries and cherries 🍒. The long palate shows good acidity with soft, ripe tannins plus a savoury, slightly smoky, spicy edge of char-grilled meat 🍖.
Food match: Particularly good with beef casserole 🥩 🍲, BBQ sausages 🌭 or lentil dhal 🍛.
🍷 Bobal Extreme de Altolandon is available at the Co-op for a lip-smackingly good value £10. 🍷