Tuesday, October 30, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Bobal wines (IV): Casa Don Angel Bobal 2009

Vera de Estenas Casa Don Angel Bobal 2009 

Wine type 
red wine aged in oak

Grape Varieties

100%  Bobal,

100% Bobal from old vines of over 80 years, productions less than 1 kg. per vine. Vintage from the second week of October. Collected in boxes of 15 Kg and directly discharged into the winery located less than 250 meters from the cellar, hopper trailer, softly squeezed and alcoholic fermentation in tanks at a temperature lower than 24 ° C., aged more than 30 months between deposit , barrels and bottle.
Tasting Notes

Wine temperature was about 17 ° C. Glass for red wine
Schott Zwisesel Pure Loop Cabernet.

Color and nuance: Dark red color with violet edges, high layer, tear quite dense and abundant bright and intense color.

In the nose and stopped glass we find ripe black fruit, after shaking the glass began to appear the aromas of the wood, vanilla and cinnamon highlighting also roasted and spiced aromas , forming a perfect warm and powerful fragrance.
Flavour of the
Of entry has a dry but intense strike, is wide in mouth and pronounced tannins but good acidity that makes it fresh at the same time mature. Passes well by mouth and is very intense and pleasant. Strong tannins that when reaching the end of mouth are accentuated hoping that to counteract protein food. Short path but with good intensity.

Overall impression
: Intense and powerful wine very pleasant to the palate but not losing the typical race Bobal variety, a recommended wine to eat, especially foods high protein concentration like red meat and game meats.

Presentation : Bottle of 75 cl. Bordeaux type, labeled very serious classical and elegant presentation.

About the cellar:

Vera de Estenas Viñedos y Bodegas
Junto carretera N-III, Km 266.
Paraje La Cabezuela. Finca Casa Don Ángel.
P.O. BOX: 20
46300 Utiel – Valencia (SPAIN) 
PHONE:+34 96 230 42 32
Monday, October 29, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Bobal wines (III): LasDosCes 2010

LasdosCes 2010

Wine type 
Young red wine aged in oak

Grape Varieties
 Bobal, Tempranillo and Syrah

Each variety is vinified separately. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature of less than 25° C followed by a maceration period of two weeks for the Tempranillo and three weeks for the Syrah. The cap is punched down (turbo-pigeage) two times per day to ensure gentle extraction and the wine is racked and returned (délestage) twice during maceration at one and two thirds of the fermentation process.

The free-run wine of each variety is then aged in two and three-year old French oak barrels during five months. The blending of both varieties takes place just before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Wine temperature was about 13 ° C. Glass for red wine
Spiegelau Authentics 01.

Color and nuance:
Bright vibrant cherry red with a brilliant shiny violet rim highlighting the wine’s youth..

Predominance of red fruit. Soft toasted aromas with subtle balsamic notes.
Flavour of the
Fresh, smooth and intense. Underlined silky sensation of the Syrah and structure of Bobal.

Overall impression
: The relatively short crianza/ageing process results in a youthful, meaty and fruity wine that will match very well with blue fish or fatty fish like sardines, fresh anchovies, mackerel, trout, tuna, bonito, salmon and swordfish - fish with strong flavours complementing the structure and body of such a young wine.

: Bottle of 75 cl. Bordeaux type, artistic label.
About the cellar:
Finca Carrascal. Vereda San Antonio.
t. +34 96 341 03 95
Sunday, October 28, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Catalonia wines (I): Petit Chardonnay

Petit Chardonnay de Joanne Cox 2011

Wine type
white aged in barrel

Grape Varieties

Manual vintage and selection in the field in boxes of 15 kg with later heat treatment at -2 ° C. Later destemming and soft pressing. Static cleaning of juice during 24 hours and fermentation in French oak barrels of 300 L. Aged for 4 months in the same French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes

Wine temperature was about 11 ° C. Glass for white wine.

Color and nuance: Visually is characterized by its elegant tone. This wine is clean and clear, with a deep golden color and attractive light nuances of orange.  

Nose: Elegant and complex aromas dominated by intense aromas of white flowers on the fresh and ripe fruit notes. 

Flavour of the wine: Balanced and fresh taste. The acidity of the fruit and spices touch obtaining together harmoniously balanced and smooth on the palate, with a haul of good intensity and a long aftertaste.

Overall impression: a fresh wine with seductress aromatic intensity dominated by notes of white flowers on the nuances fresh fruits and ripe. Balanced and soft on the palate with good intensity and long finish.

Presentation : Bottle of 75 cl. burgundy type, clearly label.

About the cellar:

Celler Ronadelles
Finca la Plana s/n,
43360 Cornudella de Montsant 
Tarragona - Spain

+ 34 977821104 

Friday, October 26, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Bobal Wines (II): Primum Bobal 2011

Primum Bobal 2011

Wine type
young red

Grape Varieties


limestone soils, continental climate with Mediterranean features the altitude reaches the 700 meters with an insolation of 2,600 hours per year and low rainfall in 2011 some 375 liters per square meter. The age of the vines is 65 years. Selected harvest.

Tasting Notes

Wine temperature
was about 14 ° C. Glass for red wine cabernet type.

and nuance: Clean and bright with intense tear medium to high layer. Dark cherry color with purple trim.

: Clean and elegant, high intensity, red fruit notes, aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry with a light and elegant touch of spices.

Flavour of the
Wine: Good acidity that gives the wine a remarkable cool very nice, with delicate notes of fresh fruit, quite refined tannins. The final is medium to long with reminiscences of goodies of raspberry

Overall impression
: Highlights the freshness marked by an interesting acidity and delicate notes frisantes due to youth, at all times prevails fruit, appearing subtle scrubland footnotes. Highlights the personality of the wine.

: Bottle of 75 cl. Bordeaux type, artistic label.

About the Cellar:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Bobal Wines (I): Pasion de Bobal 2010

Pasion de Bobal 2010

Wine type
Aged red wine

Grape Varieties
100% Bobal


This wine comes from our vineyards over 60 years that starts a clear way the potential quality and equilibrium necessary for the production of a wine with character. Harvest in boxes in late October with a choice of grapes in the winery entrance. Long and peculiar elaboration with phases of cold macerating pre-fermentation and short fermentation at low temperatures. Following this stage the wine malolactic fermentation takes in new barrel 100% French oak new aging it for 6 months.

Tasting Notes

Wine temperature was approximately 16 ° C. Glass Tempranillo type.

and nuance: Colour cherry red high layer and violet edges.

Nose: Good nose with red and black fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants very well taken by an accompaniment to creamy and light barrel toast, a spiced and some licorice.

of the wine: on the palate very yummy, fruity, round tannins, good acidity and light touches of vanilla, smoke and roasted ..

Overall impression: very fresh wine, balanced, with all the characteristics of a wine Bobal, but with adequate soft tannin to accompany meals with high protein content.

: Bottle of 75 cl. burgundy type, artistic label.

About the Cellar:

Bodega Sierra Norte
Polígono Industrial El Romeral
C/Del Transporte C2
C.P. 46340 Requena – Valencia (SPAIN) 
Tel: +34 96 2323099
Fax: +34 96 2323048

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Utiel-Requena wineries (III): Finca Ardal

One of the small wineries that have Requena in his term, large wine bottles, is Finca Ardal. This winery nineteenth century who founded one of the ancestors of the present family Gil-Orozco, who from 1996 took over this project to produce wines of quality, using the vineyard and the situation surrounding the winery.

The new winery is currently located in the old building where wines were produced double paste today has attached a new area where wines are made in stainless steel tanks, using technology for the development and preservation of wine, there is also a barrel cellar in the basement of the house where the wine rests between 6 and 14 months to produce these quality wines then I will comment.

The vineyard is composed of traditional plants Bobal and Tempranillo, dating from 80 and 40 years to which were added more recently planted plants like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Each variety has its cycle and its collection and are vinified separately to seek the highest expression of them and then assemble for wines that the winery produces. The Bobal single variety has its own production and also this winery is inside Primum Bobal Association, which brings together seven wineries that are committed this type of grape as a quality product and unique in the world. 

After the tour we tasted the wines of the cellar, starting with a 'coupage' of little aging (6 months) of Tempranillo, Syrah and Bobal, a wine with a ruby red with a brilliant tone, on the nose predominated red fruit, some mineral character and very elegant spiced undertones. In the mouth fresh and voluminous, with a short but very intense aftertaste, a fairly young wine, named of a 2006 harvest TANUS name. This name evokes certain vestiges of Roman empire was found on the farm and texts written in stone have his name taken. 

Also tasted another 'coupage' in this case of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot, named Ocho Cuerdas 2006 vintage, this wine's name is in memory of 8-string guitar, the founder of the winery invented in his facet as artist, this is a little more evolved because their passage through French barrels more than 12 months, but it the color is ruby with orange border more, glyceric and upper middle layer. The nose is more complex, finding spices like cinnamon, cloves, leaves of snuff, leather and candied black fruit. The palate still has a remarkable tannin but also friendly, long aftertaste with great memories to high roast and smoked. 

Another wine that we tasted at the winery, but I personally if I've done it several times, is the single variety Ocho Cuerdas Bobal, of dark purple, intense, high cape. Clear and brilliant. A complex aroma of ripe red fruit on a background spiced (ground pepper). Well integrated with good quality wood . Enters the mouth smoothly with a long aftertaste. This wine is round and balanced, fleshy, with sweet tannins and good polished.

A very charming small winery that makes wines of great quality and good price / quality ratio.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Rioja wines (II): Marques de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2001


Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2001 wines are produced from vintages as 'excellent' or 'very good'. Depending on the vintage, these fine wines are aged in premium quality oak barrels from central France for 26-28 months, followed by as much as 4 years in bottle. Gran Reservas are, therefore, vinified in such away that their fruit and freshness acquire a unique complexity through ageing.

The weather conditions, in 2001 vintage, was mild and humid during the autum and winter season until the vines budded in the spring when temperatures were cool with no incidence of frost. Summer began with unusually high temperatures and was rather dry specially during the months of August and September. Some light rain during the last fortnight in September favoured the maturation of the grapes. The harvest took place between 8th and 27th October in very favourable weather conditions allowing us to pick very fine and healthy grapes as these reached perfect maturity.

Taste notes:
Intense, dark cherry-red colour. Complex bouquet that reveals a splendid balance of mature fruit and delicate touch of spice (vanilla, refined leather) from the french oak. Powerful in the mouth with sensations of fleshy, cristallised fruit that highlight a pleasant fullness in which the slightly toasted notes from the wood are perfectly integrated. A very elegant wine that promises to develop splendily in bottle.

An ideal wine to accompany game dishes in sauce or ragout, lamb or beef with spices (roast, stewed or grilled), and mature or blue cheese.

Serve between 16º-18º C.

Monday, October 22, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Rioja wines (I): Torre de Oña 2007

Torre de Oña is the result of a thorough study carried out in recent years of the 65 hectares of vineyards in our winery, located in one of the best and most unique stretches of land in the Rioja Alavesa. As a result we have dedicated our best plots and grapes to the careful production of the Reserva, an up to date, innovative and authentic wine, with a personality distinct from passing fads which, above all, seeks the best from a privileged estate.

The vegetative cycle and maturation took place slowly, allowing us to perform a slow and selective harvest collecting extremely high quality grapes, thanks also to very moderate yields. Manual harvesting was carried out, plot by plot, collecting grapes based on the maturity of each vine, thereby ensuring that most of the grapes entered the winery at their optimum point of maturity, with excellent health and a good balance between acidity and polyphenols, ideal characteristics for must with a strong aromatic expression.

Composition and origin: Tempranillo with a small percentage of Mazuelo (5 %), from our vineyards located in Altos Vallecilla, Calvo and Camino de la Iglesia plots, beside the winery.

Production and ageing: The grapes were collected in boxes and taken to the winery on refrigerated platforms where they remained until they reached 4°C. They were, then, destemmed, crushed and poured into stainless steel tanks where they remained for about 3 days at under 12°C, to achieve cold maceration and primary fermentation bolstering their characteristics. Alcoholic fermentation occurred over 15 days at a set temperature of 27 °C. 51% of the coupage of this wine underwent malolactic fermentation in new French and American oak barrels, with weekly battonage for the duration of the process (46 days). The rest of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 34 days, with the movement of lees every 15 days.

The wine underwent 21 months of ageing in barrels made of French oak (68.8%), Caucasian oak (20.8%) with the rest made of American oak. During this period it was decanted three times using the traditional method from barrel to barrel, with the final coupage in February 2010.
Saturday, October 20, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Utiel-Requena wineries (II): Aranleon - Organic Wines

The winery ARANLEÓN was built in 1927 in the small village of Los Marcos, 100 km West from the Mediterranean Sea in the region of Valencia. The elaboration of the wines is still being done in its majority in the old tile fermentation vats which have now been recovered with epoxy resin.

We are using as well stainless steel vats of 4000 litres capacity and barrels of 400 litres for selected fermentations. In 2006 were finalised the enlargement construction works of the new winery to which we access through our particular “time tunnel” digged in an old vat.

There, in the new winery, we have located our barrels made with Hungarian and French oak as well as the bottling line, our warehouse and the social area.At this stage, our winery could be defined as a “gravity flow winery” where the flow of grapes/wines take place gently by gravity from 0 m at the entrance of the grapes to level minus 9 meters where the barrels and the bottling line are hosted and from which the wine is shipped.
In the new underground winery, the temperature and the humidity are constant throughout the year which helps preserve the wines.

ARANLEÓN owns 120 Has. of organic vineyards split in four different Fincas: Montesanco in the Fontanars Valley, Casa de las Vides in Utiel, El Churro y Los Rincones in La Portera. Our vineyards are grouped in planted at 750-770 meters of altitude on hilly slopes. Out of the 120 Has, 90 Has are old bush vines of our 40 years old in a non irrigated sandy and poor soil the local grape varieties of Bobal, Monastrell, Tempranillo and Macabeo.

The remaining vineyards amounting 30 Has were planted in trellis in 1998 with drip irrigation on a light white clay and sandy soil, the international varieties; Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Marselan, Marsanne and Sauvignon Blanc.

Our viticulture is based on the constant work on each vine to achieve the right yields based on lose grapes, small and well aerated berries which increase the potential of the fruit. When approaching the vineyard we consider it as a whole and think of it as system which is alive and is in constant evolution following soil, climate and human factors.
The sensitivity of ARANLEÓN is clearly organic and from the beginning we have eliminated the use of herbicides and pesticides and we have rationalised the irrigation. Starting from the vintage 2007 our vineyards have been certified  organic.

The three Aranleon signature wines are from the D.O. Utiel-Requena.
Bodega Aranleon
Ctra. De Caudete s/n,
46310 Los Marcos (Valencia)

Tel:  +34 96 3631640 ;
Email: vinos@aranleon.com

Web site: www.Aranleon.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Barón d’Alba Wineries and Vineyards

Barón d’Alba Wineries and Vineyards opened for business by planting 15 hectares of vineyards of Macabeo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Merlot, Monastrell, Syrah and Tempranillo, with the idea of obtaining from them the highest expression of quality and not of quantity. As they were familiar with the exceptional quality of Les Useres area grapes, they decided to build a winery in their own vineyard. This was an idyllic spot called CLOS D’ ESGARRACORDES from which you can see an extraordinary outlook of vineyards and a wide area of the region. 

For this project we joined a group of professionals, who were involved in obtaining the best quality for our wines, sparing no effort and make sure that the whole process, involved in getting a great wine from the vineyard to the consumer, was achieved.

This is an exceptional vineyard of 15 hectares, located in L’Alcalaten which is the lowest part of the Les Useres district. It lies at an altitude of 200 meters and enjoys a suitable microclimate for the production of high quality wines. The vineyard is planted by the street system, on trellis with a double Royat cordon. We use a planting density of 2600 vines per hectare and with a per plant production limited to a maximum of 1.5 to 1.75 kg per vine, depending on variety, making a closely monitoring of the growth cycle of the vine in order to obtain a high quality fruit.

The ground is loamy with clay, as well as both sandy and rocky, with high calcium content. Therefore, we have a vineyard with the two main features associated with the quality of the renowned wine regions: stony and limestone lands.

From the standpoint of climate, this area is located a few kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, but has a moderate influence, thereof to be protected by the mountains that divide it. Rainfall is approximately 450 litres per year, vineyard orientation, hours of sun and humidity are ideal for obtaining the best quality. This combination of factors which is difficult to find, explains the proven quality, harvest to harvest, of wines from our harvest.

The exterior of the winery is a fine stone building, that gives it personality. Unique for its murals with pictorial representations dedicated to the vintage. It is beautiful, as well as having stucco walls throughout the interior of the winery. It is equipped with processing deposits with up to 10,000 litres capacity each, equivalent to 8,200 kilograms of grapes. All are equipped with modern cooling system to control the fermentation temperatures, allowing us to heat or cool warehouses in a much shorter time and to exercise a perfect control over the fermentation.
The warehouse is composed of:
- 1 tank of 15,000 liters.
- 3 fermentation tanks of 10,000 litres of stainless steel.
- 3 fermentation tanks of 5,000 litres.
- 4 fermentation tanks of 3,000 litres.
- 1 cask of 6,000 litres oak.
Besides, there we can find devatting and peak tanks with a capacity of 72,000 litres.

The barrel room is excavated below ground and it is equipped with an air conditioning system that allows not only ventilating the warehouse, but also allows controlling the temperature and moisture at desired levels.
The arches that support the barrel room together with careful lighting create a unique atmosphere, where lie French oak barrels for aging wine.

It is equipped with the same air-conditioning as the barrel room. It has a capacity of 70 crates of bottles. In this warehouse the wine completes his ripening process fully before its release.

Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature and long maceration, applying cutting-edge winemaking techniques.The malolactic fermentation takes place in oak tubs, prior to its aging in French and American oak barrels.The barrel ageing room it is perfect for ventilation, humidity and temperature, where the wine remains in barrels until its optimal stage of ripening, being not less than 14 months.

Once the blending of our wines is fulfilled, it is bottled, where it will continue with its ripening in a bottle for a minimum of eight months. This is in order to guarantee the consumer a wine in which we have placed the utmost care, at all stages, in order to obtain a wine of great quality.

Bodegas y Viñedos Barón d'Alba S.L.
Clos d'Esgarracordes, partida Vilar la Call 10
12118 Les Useres (Castellón) España

+ 34 964 767 306 - +34 608 032 884 - info@barondalba.com
Thursday, October 18, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Utiel-Requena wineries (I): Vera de Estenas

In 1876, Mrs Filomena Pons y Pons, paternal great-grandmother of the Martínez Roda family, founded a wine and spirit making company in the Grao de Valencia region. Very soon afterwards, she began to export wines, a tradition which was to be kept by the generations to come. However, one of her grandsons, Francisco Martínez Bermell, who had been managing the winemaking of the company in the Utiel - Requena region since the 1940s, decided to break away and start his own company in Requena. He began to introduce new varietals such as tempranillo, which had never been grown in the area before, and in very close association with Pascual Carrion Carrion, then manager of the Requena Winemaking Station, started adopting new winemaking techniques which would substantially improve the quality of the wines of the region.

In the early 1980s, the Martínez Roda brothers, sons of Francisco Martínez Bermell, took over and seeing the huge potential of their estate to produce quality wines, proceeded to reconvert the Casa Don Angel vineyards. For the first time ever, foreign varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and chardonnay were introduced into the Utiel - Requena D.O. and grown alongside the tempranillo and more traditional bobal vines.

The centenary mansion, situated in the middle of the vineyards, was modernised, new machinery introduced and the underground cellars were adapted to new needs. In 1981 the Casa Don Angel estate is acquired by the Martínez Roda brothers.Once Casa Don Angel had been modernised and upgraded (the ageing plants reconditionedand a new cellar prepared for the sparkling wines), a museum (following the guidelines of a typical French Chateau) with over 3000 bottles representing most of the wine growing regions of the world, was installed.

The first wines were introduced into the market in 1985, and in 1987 the first wine ever to be made from the cabernet sauvignon variety in the D.O., the "Vera de Estenas" reserva. In 1994, Felix Martínez Roda, the youngest brother, took over management of the company and soon took an innovative step by bringing new wines into the market, such as "Casa Don Angel", "Martínez Bermell Merlot" and "Viña Lidon", the first white wine fermented in oak barrels in the Valencian Community.
The CASA DON ANGEL estate comprises of the main house,winery, garden and agricultural land. It is situated in the borough of Utiel, at "La Cabezuela", which lies 2.5km west of the estate. To the east, it forms a border with the Rambla de Estenas (watercourse) which in turn is the natural border of the borough of Requena.

This family owned concern trades as a limited company, the Martínez Roda family being sole owners.At present the estate houses an elegant Art Nouveau mansion built in 1919, following the guidelines of the era, as well as the original cellar, since upgraded and streamlined. Adjoining this, the new cellar, ageing plant, bottling plants and museum are found.

With the exception of a couple of almond trees lining its pathways, the estate is dedicated entirely to the growing of vines. These range from over a hundred year old Bobal vines to the recently planted ones.

The vineyards are situated on a gentle slope stretching from the Sierra de Juan Navarro to the Vega del Magro (plains) very near the Rambla de Estenas (watercourse). Here we find a very sunny calcareous glacis where erosion has designed an undulating landscape of valleys and hills. The floors of the valleys are very rich and produce exceptional grape harvests. However, on the hills a calcareous crust with a stony surface predominates. Here the soil is poorer but very suitable for obtaining quality wines. This is something which has not gone unnoticed by Felix Martínez, who plants his most prized cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo, merlot and chardonnay vines here. Even with the help of localised irrigation, Felix does not allow the yield to exceed 3kg per vine.”

Due to its high altitude and continental position, this area is prone to more extreme temperatures then the rest of the Community of Valencia. The average temperature being 14ºC in Requena and 12ºC in Utiel, January being the coldest month, averaging 5ºC and August the hottest, averaging 24ºC. A very significant factor is the marked difference between day and night temperatures which can reach a 20 degree difference. The frequency of extreme temperatures must also be taken into account, these can drop to a freezimg 5 - 10 degrees below zero in winter and rise to a scorching 35 - 40 degrees in summer.

NAME: Vera de Estenas
ADDRESS: Next to the N-III at km 266.
Paraje La Cabezuela. Casa Don Angel.
LOCATION: Utiel – Valencia (SPAIN)
POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 20, C.P. 46300 Utiel – Valencia (SPAIN)
e-mail ADDRESS: estenas@veradeestenas.es
TELEPHONE: +34 96 217 11 41
FAX: +34 96 217 43 52
PROPRIETORS: The Martinez Roda Family
MANAGER: Felix Martinez Roda
VISITS: By appointment
SALES : Mainly to restaurants and specialised shops

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