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Mestizaje, Bobal 2005

OK so you think you know a thing or two about wine and then along comes a Spanish wine featuring the Bobal grape. Yes the Bobal grape. You think, “This must be obscure because it is no good.” Right? One sip proves just the opposite and suddenly you find yourself thinking, “This mighty wine may be the Rocky Balboa of my cellar!”

I encountered this prizefighting grape at an independent wine store, which offered up the Mestizaje Bobal with the caveat that it is unusual and ineffably good. Well I couldn’t pass on that kind of endorsement so I took one home and then left it in the cellar for nearly a year without knowing what to do with it. Round two of short ribs found me reaching for anything red, interesting, and with some guts to it. Out came the Bobal.

Decanting the Bobal

Pouring Wine through the Vinturi Into a Decanter

Tasting notes:

I decided to Vinturiand decant this wine after reading what little guidance online I could find. I let it sit for four hours and boy am I glad I did. Examining the bottle later we saw pieces of pale gritty grape sediment stuck in a vertical line where it had settled in the bottle. (This wine is unfined and unfiltered.) The wine poured dark garnet, with a nose showing subdued turpentine. Drinking the wine provided an even and strong delivery with powerful dark berries and noticeable backbone. It is more acidic than dry and cut through the unctuous short ribs beautifully.

This Bobal is a serious wine requiring some contemplation. It certainly kept the heavy flavors of our meal in check and at the same time was enjoyable in its own right. This drank like a quality wine though it was not very nuanced and did not transform throughout the meal. That being said, I do think it is an excellent substitute for Chateneuf du Pape or Gigondas and at $16 a bottle comes in at half the typical price of those wines. We both thought it would do well with grilled ribeye and a chimichurri sauce. This grape is random enough that it gets no mention in Parker’s Wine Guide. Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Winedoes have a Bobal entry stating that it is an important Spanish dark-skinned variety that is often used for grape concentrate and bulk wine. However it is enjoying a growing reputation at the hands of producers such as Mustiguillo in high altitude vineyards in Utiel-Requena. Mucho gusto! Yo Adrian-pour me some more.
Mr. B

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