At the late Raspipav, I saw little Spanish presence, but what i tasted was really interesting. One of these producer is Bodegas Tobia is a newcomer in the Rioja.
The bodega was established in 1994. Its founder and hombre fuerte is Oscar Tobía, This Spanish gentleman comes from a local family of wine growers situated in San Asensio. His purpose is to make original and distinctive wines which embodies the spirit of Rioja but with a modern twist. Tobia is the pioneers of barrel fermented rose in Rioja. To this say, Oscar continues to produce innovative wines which are widely known around the world, and sometimes used as benchmark examples by the Rioja Institute. It is great to know that we can find Riojas of this caliber in the province of Quebec. Tobia is represented by Benedictus agency. They have a small but very interesting Spanish Portfolio.
I only had a chance to taste 3 of their wines at the latest Raspipav in Montreal, Quebec. Although their wines are modern, they are quite enjoyable. I love the fruit concentration profile and the oak is present ( seleccion and daimon blanco). However, nothing is out of balance. It is very harmonious. However, the most interesting wine was the Daimon blanco, since it contains an unusual grape, Tempranillo Blanco that we seldom see in Rioja. Accordng to Dinastia Vivanco,”Tempranillo Blanco offer intense fruity aromas, with banana, green apple, citrus and floral characters”. You can read about this and the other grapes on Rioja on the Rioja DOCa site.
Tempranillo Blanco, or White Tempranillo, is a relatively ‘new’ grape. It is the result of a natural mutation of the more common ‘red’ Tempranillo, and was discovered on a vine in a vineyard in Murillo de Rio Leza in 1988 by the owner, Jesús Galilea Esteban. DNA analysis proved that this really was tempranillo, but it had a natural ‘albinism’ that had affected the genes responsinble to the skin colour that resulted in a yellow/green skin pigmentation instead of the usual blue/purple.
Daimon White 2012. $22.95 A blend of 30% Viura, 25% Malvasia, 15% Tempranillo Blanco and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Cold skin berry maceration. Fermentation and aging 3 months on American oak with occasional batonnage. On the nose, aromas that remind me of bitter orange and dry white fruits. In the mouth, medium body with a good acidity. Flavors bring to mind peach and apricot jam. Elegant and long. 90/100
Tobia 2013 Tinto $18.70. 100% Tempranillo destemmed, cold maceration in CO2. Stainless steel tank fermentation. No oak. Beautiful primal tempranillo fruit ( Panoply of red fruits ). In addition, spices and licorice. In the mouth, full body with an excellent structure.
Tobia Seleccion 2010. $26.90. Mostly tempranillo with blend with Garnacha and Graciano. Aging in american and french oak barrels. The vintage 2008 was aged nineteeen months. On the nose, concentrated aromas of jammy black fruit. Spicy with well integrated wood notes. Structured and dense with vanilla and pepper layers. Very long but austere finale. 93/100.