Spanish Sundays: Fuentesca From Bodega SierraNorte (Utiel Requena DO)

As the summer gets underway, I’m exploring, thanks to friends, alternative packing and the wines that come in these containers. A friend brought a box of white wine from Utiel Requena DO to my house on Friday called Fuentesca from Bodegas SierraNorte. It’s a blend of 80% Macabeo and 20% Sauvignon blanc.

I liked it a lot. It had the minerality, rich tropical fruit notes, herbaceous undertones and acidity that I expect from high altitude wines but also the fullness I expect from Mediterranean wines. It was creamy as well which I attribute to the lees stirring. The varieties are harvested, often at night and vinified separately.

The winery is now run by the third generation. They are growing organic grapes and have expanded considerably from the first family holdings in 1914 with a plot of land in Camporrobles planted to the Bobal grape.

The denomination is located in the interior plains of the Province of Valencia (Spain) between two rivers. They are 70km away from Mediterranean Sea and have 90,000 acres. The denomination covers nine municipalities. The signature grape variety is Bobal. The shape of a bunch of these grapes is similar to a bull’s head hence the name.

The climate is Mediterranean with Continental influences. They enjoy 2,800 hours of sunlight a year. Large diurnal temperature changes also help create phenolic maturity in the grapes. The vines grown at 1960-2950 feet above sea level and the area gets about 450 mm of rain per year The soils are alluvial–riverbed and clay–with limestone deposits.

The region is quite ancient as is evidenced by the Phoenician amphorae fragments found in the village of Villares de Caudete (aka) Kelin.

I like the idea of this ancient region making wines in a box, the old/new traditions blending as one.

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