Established in 1945, Vera de Estenas is one of the most traditional producers with some of the oldest vine holdings in the region. The family’s mission is to preserve the production of wines from the local Bobal grape utilizing organic farming and traditional winemaking methods. Southeastern Spain’s Utiel-Requena is not a D.O. one would usually associate with classically structured wines of balance and nuance, mostly due to the “quantity-over-quality” mentality that has afflicted Southern Spain, and specifically the Bobal grape. With 90,000 hectares under vine, Bobal is the third most planted grape variety in all of Spain after Airen and Tempranillo. The high-yielding vine was historically regarded as only useful for simple, acidic red & rosé wines destined for the local Co-Op. Recently, a handful of quality-minded growers, using artisanal farming and vinification, are producing highly individual wines with true complexity. Bobal is fulfilling its true Mediterranean potential – certainly “wines of the sun”, but with remarkable freshness and moderate alcohol.
Utiel-Requena is the new kid on the block. It’s a relative newcomer, both to wine lists and to wine shelves. Its wines, and especially its lively reds and bright rosés, have a refreshingly contemporary feel, making them a welcome entrant to the diversity of the new Spain.
Lovely notes of bright plum fruit, spice, and earthy, calcareous soil-inflected tension. Pair with Smoked Meat, BBQ, Chicken, Turkey, Spicy Meatballs, Moroccan Lamb Tagine, Rabbit, Pork and Chargrilled/Roasted Beef.