This Wine Wednesday I am writing about a wine that I had last night from the Valencia DO made from 100% Bobal, one of two signature red varieties in that area. The other is Monastrell. Bobal hails from nearby Utiel Requena DO and is one of the most highly acidic red grapes out there. It also has considerable weight on the palate but this version from Neleman despite having 14.5% alcohol is not overpowering. It is very dark in color, inky purple/black and opaque. It had wonderful aromas and flavors of blackberry, dried flowers, leather and plum. The tannnins were surprisingly soft and the use of oak judicious and not over the top. I found the acidic high and the finish, long and persistent. While I drank it last night with pizza, I would have preferred it with my grilled food this evening instead. I can see it with a Paella Valenciana or a Tortilla Espanola.
I am doing all of this Spanish “research” for my Spanish Wine Scholar exam that is coming up. Bobal is the third most widely planted grape in Spain after Airen and Tempranillo and before Garnacha Tinta and Macabeo/Viura. Valencia as you can see from the map is located on the coast and has a Mediterranean climate.
I visited Valencia in 2000, bought the customary paella pan, and remember the oranges. I don’t remember what we drank at that time but I also think the wines have come a long way these last 21 years. Neleman who makes the wine I choose is a Dutchman. The wines are organic and vegan. They make a host of wines. I found this one at Astor and loved the label. The wine was a modern version of Bobal.