La Portera ‘La Pinada’ Bobal 2021

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Product Details
Producer: Agricola La Portera
Country: Spain
Region: Utiel-Requena
Grape Variety: Bobal
ABV: 13.5%
Style: Red Wine
Classification: Utiel-Requena DO

La Portera ‘La Pinada’ Bobal is a superb example of the wonderful Bobal grape that is both fresh and fruity with lovely flavours of blackberry, blueberry and thyme. The wine has a velvet like texture and a palate full of hedgerow fruit and delightful herb infused notes. It is juicy and fresh and was aged for nine months in concrete to emphasise the fruit over oak flavours. The grapes come from a 3ha plot grown on alluvial and clay soils that was planted in 1958.

Argicola La Portera is a wine making project akin to Gary Lightbody’s early noughties Scottish supergroup The Reindeer Section. Javier del Blanco, Francisco Santiso and Jorge Navascues are all wonderful winemakers in their own right, Jorge being the most well known as head winemaker at Rioja Contino, but together, like a fine blend, their whole becomes greater than their parts. The project was born in 2017 with the desire to bottle small parcels of old vine Bobal from Javier’s home region of Valencia. The original vineyard is in the tiny village of La Portera which gives its name to the wine. In 2019 the project was expanded to a Garnacha sourced from a couple of plots in Carinena.

The aim of the La Portera project is to produce wines that showcase both the grape variety and a sense of place. Even as I write that, it sounds like a cliché, but many feel that Spain is still dominated by Tempranillo and Rioja. Nothing wrong at all with either, but even Rioja is going through a movement towards non-Tempranillo grapes and specific vineyard site selection. The La Portera wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in neutral vessels, mostly concrete which results in elegant rather than powerful wines and showcases both wonderful grape varieties and their respected regions.

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