Bodegas Ponce Clos Lojen Bobal 2020
Aromas of juicy blackberry and boysenberries. A smooth, medium bodied red with a hints of spice, mineral and earthy notes. It has a nice minerally acid that holds this well-structured wine together. Complete with a clean and fresh finis
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A pretty nose of raspberries, dried flowers, orange peel, walnut husk and baking spice. It’s medium-bodied with sleek tannins and bright acidity. Lively and juicy with a delicious, fresh finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
The 2020 Clos Lojen, one of their most important wines, has an amazing quality-to-price ratio and is approachable enough for new consumers. All of their reds ferment with 100% stems, and this matured in oak vats for six months. This is quite fruit-driven and open, with a very expressive nose. I tasted this next to the 2021, and this has 1% more alcohol, but it's still only 13%. That makes the wine juicier and fruitier, and the 2021 is sharper and more austere. It has notes of strawberry and raspberry with just a faint earthy touch. It was bottled in March 2021.
Manchuela, a lesser-known Spanish wine region that is inland from Valencia, is where the Bobal varietal thrives, Known for its thick skins and rusticity, controlling the Bobal’s vigor is what makes for a well-balanced and interesting wine. While there are very few defenders of this region and even fewer winemakers that are dedicated to this varietal, Juan Antonio Ponce stands proud as a master and interpreter of the Bobal grape.
Juan Antonio Ponce began his winery in 2005, at the age of 23. He works biodynamically in the vineyard, and in the winery he takes a natural approach, using low levels of sulfur dioxide. His philosophy is to make natural wines with wild yeast fermentation, to respect the local varietal Bobal and to express its terroir.
Juan Antonio Ponce worked as the right-hand man to Telmo Rodriguez at Cia de Vinos Telmo Rodrigues for 5 years. During this time he was in charge of winemaking, vineyard management, etc. His father, who owned some land in Manchuela, decided to start this project with him.
The Moors gave it the name, ‘Manxa,’ which fittingly means ‘parched earth.’ La Mancha, the largest Spanish wine producing region in all of Spain, is one of its hottest and driest. Sturdy and drought-resistant white varieietes like Airen, Viura and Verdejo thrive in this environment.
Bobal is enjoying a mini renaissance in Spain today as high-elevation vineyards in its homeland of Utiel-Requena produce dense and velvety wines dominated by dark berry and cocoa characteristics. However, its function as Spain’s second most planted red grape variety was once only for bulk wine and concentrate. Since it is drought-resistant, it does well grown as unirrigated bush vines and acts as a fine voice of terroir. Somm Secret—Bobal also shows great potential for rosé and sparkling wines because of its high levels of acidity and anthocyanins.