For my first post of my blog, I thought that it might be an excellent idea to talk about this Spanish producer which is making waves in the natural wine scene of Spain. A cult producer may be defined as a estate that makes a small quantity of wines ans has a fervent number of followers. Usually, this type of producers charge outrageous prices ( California ring any bells?) but in the case of Bodegas Ponce, its wines are quite affordable. They sell in the range of $30-$50
Manchuela is a Spanish wine region close to Valencia. The area is an specialist in the Bobal grape variety, which is known for its thick skins and rusticity. This grape and event the appellation does not get a lot of respect in the Spanish wine industry. However, Juan Antonio Ponce felt in love with this grape and is elevating with the appellation to international fame.
Juan Antonio Ponce started his proyect in 2005, at the age of 23. He works biodynamically in the vineyard, and in the winery he takes a natural approach, using low levels of sulfur dioxide. His raison d’etre is to make natural wines with wild yeast fermentation, to respect the local varietal Bobal so it can express with no manipulation its terroir. Like other artisanal producers, everything is done manually at the winery. Juan ferments whole-bunch, with the stems, which is a type of fermentation known as “remango”, which was once popular in Rioja.
Juan wines are represented in the Province of Quebec by the good people of Glou. It is on the private importation network. Ponce makes both white and red wines. For the whites, he makes small quantities of Albilla and for the reds, of course Bobal and small quantities of Garnacha and Moravia-Agria.
La Casilla D.O Manchuela 2012. Around 25$ as of Oct 2014
Very heady aromas of ripe and roasted black fruits such as blueberries with black raspberries combined with a edgy mineral angle and lots of black licorice character with black earth and animal nuances. In the mouth, the wine is rather corpulent and dense, displaying a big structure with intense black fruit paste flavors, savoury mineral notes and aromatic herbs such as mint, eucalyptus and rosemary with hints of leather and barn and clay. Low to medium acidity, the wine leaves in your mouth an important dusty and mineral tannic profile with a very intense dry tannic finale. This one is to keep for the next 5-10 years. 92\100