Bobal: 3 simple tricks to tell it from any other grape and look like a true connoisseur
The Bobal grape is the flagship variety of our territory. It is the native variety of the Denominación de Origen Utiel-Requena and, is without doubt at the very heart of Grupo Coviñas. If you want to know all about our favourite grape, this is the post for you!
The Bobal grape, the heart of Grupo Coviñas
The Bobal grape was born on the Mediterranean coast, though as the years passed it began to move into inland Valencia, especially to D.O Utiel-Requena where it has become the most widely planted grape variety.
But this grape was not always the flagship grape. Historically it was only sold in bulk as a blending wine to enhance other wines, and not given the chance to show off its own qualities.
Following centuries of effort to display its great potential, this grape now covers 80% of the land under vine in the Utiel-Requena region. It constitutes a magnificent legacy of old vines, with a scattering of vineyards of 80/year/old Bobal vines.
There is no doubt that the Bobal grape is the big star of the Requena wineries. So much so, that Grupo Coviñas is the leading world producer of Bobal. But, what is it about this grape that so beguiles us?
The characteristics of Bobal
It is a grape variety that contains high levels of antioxidants and resveratrol – a natural substance with health benefits for the heart and which helps protect against cancer – which means that, consumed in moderation, Bobal wine is the most beneficial for our health.
It is a very productive grape, due to the size of the bunches, between 3 and 5 times bigger than Cabernet Sauvignon. The cherry colour of the grapes, their intense aroma and thick, tough skin, with high levels of tannins and some acidity, allows us to produce unique rosé and red wines. These reflect the characteristics of the grape:
- Intense cherry colour with violet hues.
- Good levels of acidity.
- Aromas of red fruit.
- Strong tannins.
Working with the Bobal grape
The Bobal grape is harvested in late September, meaning that it has a long growth cycle. After picking, the maceration phase begins, in which we get all the goodness from the grape skins. Fermentation is then carried out at a cool 18ºC to conserve all those aromas.
The characteristics of the grape mean it has great potential to make wines that improve with age. For this, we need small, fully ripe bunches along with long ageing in oak casks to make a long-lived wine full of personality.
How to recognize a Bobal wine
This is where we move from theory to practice. So, take your glass, choose one of the bottles of Bobal you should always have in the house and follow these steps to discover what it is that makes Bobal wines unique.
The visual part of the tasting will show Bobal wines to be bright and deep in colour.
You can spot a rosé Bobal by its vivid, vibrant colour. Rosé wines range along a broad gamut of pinks, from the very pale, like our Villa de Adnos Bobal Rosado, to the electric pink of our Enterizo Rosado. In both of these, you’ll see glints of violet and brighter pinks as you swirl the wine around your glass.
Bobal red wines convey elegance through their intense cherry colour with flashes of violet, as seen clearly in our Adnos Bobal Alta Expresión.
The next step in discovering Bobal is to identify its primary aromas. Your first sniff will bring you that cherry fragrance that is so typical of our native variety.
The rosé wines are generally rounded and moreish, they draw you in with their aromas of red fruit, with strawberries and raspberries to the fore.
However, the red wines, as well as red fruit, especially cherry, also offer dried fruit, liquorice, spices and elegantly toasty hints of oak.
In the mouth, the intensity of the Bobal grape will reveal a full-bodied wine that is high in tannins with smooth acidity.
On tasting the rosé wine you will be greeted by the fruitiness, always accompanied by great freshness and nicely balanced acidity.
Bobal red wines tend to be dry, lively, silky and full-bodied. You will savour the intense fruitiness alongside hints of toast or a touch of earthiness.
The Bobal grape gives us the opportunity to express the essence of our vineyards, presenting the grape in all its splendour and showing the whole world the essence of the land that it emerges from, our Denominación de Origen Utiel-Requena.
We truly believe that supporting Bobal, is to support something authentic and truly ours. What about you, will you throw your hat in the ring with us?
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