What’s in My Glass? Bobal


If Beaujoulais is the soft, fruity red of early fall, then the Spanish underdog Bobal is its springtime equivalent.

This  ancient Spanish variety that dominates vineyards across Valencia isn’t one that comes up often on menus or the pages of Wine Spectator, but it should. Beyond its traditional role of bulking up cheap jug wines across Iberia and parts of Southern France, it can be made into tasty, thoroughly gulp-able reds perfect for springtime fare.

Of late, Bobal is beginning to making a comeback thanks to producers and wine geeks who believe this hearty little berry deserves a place alongside Spanish classics like Tempranillo or Garnacha. Known for its ability to withstand incredibly harsh weather, Bobal tends to make deeply fruity wines with strong tannins and acidity. (aka the 1-2 punch of a good wine.)

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Recently, on a quintessential California spring day, I was damn happy to have Bobal in my tasting lineup thanks to Grandes Pagos de España!The 2012 Finca Terrerazo from Bodega Mustigillo was loaded with sweet, fresh cinnamon (think: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal) and anise on the nose that led into smokey, plummy flavors on the palate. Breakfast smells aside, this full-bodied wine would kill it with bacon (or bacon wrapped scallops, or bacon covered cheesy potato skins, or bacon…) but was still deft enough to be refreshing alongside something as light and bright as fresh pasta with olives and capers.

Calling this single-estate Bobal “lesser,” would be like calling Michael Phelps a slow swimmer…

Shockingly refreshing, yet clearly full-bodied and powerful Bobal is just like spring…especially if you live in New England.

Bobal Uncorked:

 

Laura Loves: Canela in San Francisco’s Castro district for fantastic and authentic Spanish tapas and wine at a reasonable price. (The cauliflower will change your life.)

This great article from Catavino about the history of Bobal and Valencia region of Spain.

Finding bargain Bobal in discount wine boxes everywhere–but I doubt it will be there for long!

Fun Facts: Bobal makes up 80% of plantings in the Valencia sub-region of Utiel-Requena.

Bobal is the 2nd most planted grape variety in spain, after the classic Tempranillo.

Unlike most varieties, Bobal grows best as a bush–not strung across long wire  trellises.

 

Overheard: “It’s not drinking, it’s tasting, and it’s classy.”

Overheard: “It’s not drinking, it’s tasting, and it’s classy.”

Laura Loves: Canela in San Francisco’s Castro district for fantastic and authentic Spanish tapas and wine at a reasonable price. (The cauliflower will change your life.)

This great article from Catavino about the history of Bobal and Valencia region of Spain.

Finding bargain Bobal in discount wine boxes everywhere–but I doubt it will be there for long!

Fun Facts: Bobal makes up 80% of plantings in the Valencia sub-region of Utiel-Requena.

Bobal is the 2nd most planted grape variety in spain, after the classic Tempranillo.

Unlike most varieties, Bobal grows best as a bush–not strung across long wire  trellises.

 

  • March 24, 2015
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