Bobal & Brazil

We once again went to a mass wine tasting. When there are over 100 wines to try you must be selective because lets face facts you can’t try them all. Even if you wanted to you get palate fatigue. We were out looking for wines that fit our QPR (Quality for Price Ratio).

We pick out the characteristics of each varietal that we try. This includes bouquet, appearance and taste. Swirl, sniff and taste! Does it taste fresh and clean? Does it have good acidity? How are the tannins? Is the wood or alcohol overbearing? Does it have good body and viscosity? Are there specific fruit tastes? Is it nicely blended? You think our job is easy?

We were specifically looking to try recently released rosés and hoping to discover some that were vinified from unique varietals grown in up and coming wine regions. We tried some international varietals from Brazil. Over the past 15 years Brazilian wineries have made tremendous investments in their technology and vineyard management. Currently there are six wine regions in Brazil.  The Miolo Pinot Noir and Chardonnay we tried were right up there for our QPR. Over the next few years you will be seeing many quality wines from Brazil. Grapes grown in Brazil include many of the widely recognized international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, even Tannat. They are trying a few from Portugal such as Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional and also some indigenous varietals; Aragonez, Alfrocheiro and Ancellota – they haven’t made it to the second letter of the alphabet yet!

Next stop was a table of wines and a seminar from Bodegas Villavid. Their DO (denominaciones de origin) is Manchuela in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Bodegas Villavid is a wine cooperative consisting of more than six hundred members and their focus is on quality. They have high quality control from vineyard management through to packaging. Additionally, they are practicing organic though not yet certified. Bodegas Villavid produces red, white and rosé wines and the Bobal grape is the varietal that makes up 70% of their vineyards. One of the wonderful aspects of mass wine tastings is the opportunity to learn new things.  We have been wine drinkers for decades and in the wine business for more than ten years and yet neither of us was familiar with the Bobal grape. It was quite surprising to learn it is the third most widely planted grape in Spain!  It is indigenous to the Central-East part of Spain and produces wines with greater acidity and less alcohol than is typical of Spanish wines. This is one of Spain’s most important red varietals. It is very resistant to their intense summers and holds up to their cold winters. We loved their rosé made of one hundred percent Bobal grapes, all harvested by hand from their best vines with an easy 12.5% alcohol level. A lovely fruit bouquet of violet, strawberry and raspberry with a nice refreshing acidity made us wish summer was here!