May not be an instantly recognisable Spanish grape variety but Bobal (pronounced Bow-bal) is in fact the most planted grape varietal behind Airén and Tempranillo. Most of the Bobal vines are found in the region of DO (Denominación de Origen) Utiel Requena in the Valencian community. This particular bottle is from Cuenca set in the mountains of east-central Spain around midway between Valencia and Madrid and is made by the Altolandon winery.
The name Bobal is derived from the word Bovale (bull) as the grape bunches tend to be shaped like a bull head.
On to the wine itself, I bought this in the Co op of all places and again I must sing the praises of this supermarket for the quality of wines it sells, I for one recommend browsing the shelves and if you’re selective I’ve seldom been disappointed with my purchases and this is no different.
Extreme (Organic) Bobal 2018 – Altolandon
First up, as you can see, it’s a lovely looking bottle and let me tell you, what’s inside is just as good. The ‘Extreme’ part refers to the altitude the vineyards are situated (around 1,100 Metres) and not the wine itself, although it may well apply in some respects. It’s also Organic (as a lot of wines tend to be these days).
In the glass it’s a deep colour with pronounced heady aromatics, mainly rich red berry and cherries along with a rustic earthiness. Be warned though this is heavy on the tannins (which is typical for this grape) and that’s the first thing that I noticed after the first sip. It’s savoury, floral and meaty with a touch of spice, then there’s also a richness from the sweet fruit.
It’s distinctive and may not be for everyone, may well be too tannic for some but I thought it was terrifically different and I really enjoyed it.
The Altolandon winery also do a very good Garnacha the Mil Historias (see my review here )