Steven Spurrier's top wines to put in the cellar
Bobal, Spain’s clandestine grape
Planted in the southeast of Spain and authorised in the Utiel-Requena, Valencia, Manchuela and Ribera del Júcar DOs, the bush-vine Bobal covers 70,000ha – second only to Tempranillo. Relatively rustic in taste, Bobal can produce fresh, deep-coloured wines, with a dark berry component and a sense of place. This was proved in a recent tasting of nine wines in London by the owner of Finca Sandoval, Victor de la Serna. Here are the best: Finca Sandoval Signo Manchuela 2010 (UK importer: Indigo) blended with 9% Syrah and 8% white Bobal, smooth Côte-Rôtie style (17.5/20pts, 2013-2017); Cien y Pico Winemakers Gallant, Manchuela 2011, chunky fruit with richness and grip (17.25, 2013–2019); Clos de San Juan, Utiel-Requena 2011 (Bibendum), lovely crunchy fruit and attractive length and lift (17, 2013–2017); La Casilla Estrecha, Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce, Manchuela 2010 (Indigo), smooth, spicy and full of energy (17, 2013– 2017); Bruno Murciano El Sueño de Bruno 2010 (H2Vin), lovely elegance from pre-phylloxera vines in a poor vintage (17, 2013–2015).
Taken from the October 2013 issue of Decanter magazine