Bodegas Ponce, 'Clos Lojen' Bobal 2020
Sweet fruited yet fresh natty red with lively acid and savoury edge. Stupidly good value. This is a go-to at all times. Anyone who wants a medium-ish bodied red with personality that punches very hard, this is the guy. Be the guy, or gal, drink the good one!
Juan Antonio Ponce is part of the ongoing Spanish wine revolution, with more and more quality producers focusing on natural, organic and biodynamic techniques in the vineyard and winery. Clos Lojen is a pure and fresh 100% Bobal from limestone soils, fermented in big oak casks. Sweet, ripe nose with warm, plummy dark cherry and blackberry fruit. Very moreish with pronounced savoury, structured edge. Dense, mouth-filling and spicy.
Wine: BODEGAS PONCE Clos Lojen Bobal
Producer: Bodegas Ponce
Region/Country: Manchuela, Spain
Production Method: Organic farming and natural winemaking. Bottled unfined and unfiltered
Style: Pure fruited and juicy with lovely freshness
Pairing Suggestion: Vegetable dishes, grilled meats, bbq
Juan Antonio is a leading figure in biodynamic and natural winemaking in his native Cuenca. His vineyards are at high altitude for Jumilla, and sit on a combination of clay, limestone and sandstone soils. His vines are between 30 and 90 years old, and some of them are still planted on their own root stocks. In the winery, his ethos is to let the wine make itself and all the wines are fermented and aged in neutral oak to let each parcel reflect its own personality.
From the Natty Boy
This guy has got to be the best find since moving to the UK. Juan Antonio is a young guy making amazingly good (and great value) natural wines from Manchuela in Spain. He focusses on Bobal, native to the region and not really seen outside of Spain. It gives amazing colour but unlike so many Spanish varieties is known for relatively low alcohol and crisp natural acidity - a nice change! Farming is all biodynamic, with the vineyards all planted at high altitudes (above 800m) which aids in the retention of natural acidity. You'll find all wines planted at altitude have a really prominent acidity, this is due to the temperature change between night and day (diurnal range) and its impact on ripening of the different parts of the grape. Another spontaneous fermentation, this time with whole bunches, in large French oak puncheons. Whole bunch fermentation is really common in places like Beaujolais as it is used to accentuate the fruity character of a grape. Basically it works by gravity, as the bunches at the bottom of the vat will slowly be crushed by the weight of those above, and the juice that flows out will eventually begin a fermentation. The juice inside the in-tact grapes will also begin to ferment more slowly. The stems can add some tannins but also provide channels for the juice to flow out of when pressed, so the colour is usually really bright and attractive. Really sweet fruited with lovely fragrance and freshness. Does really well with a light chill.