Bobal: Big, Beefy and Ideal for BBQ Season

Jun 7, 2010

Tempranillo, Garnacha and Monastrell are the three typical red varieties you find in the wines of Rioja, Navarra and Jumilla. 

Cava is a blend of Macebeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. 

Jerez relies on Palomino or Pedro Ximénez to make the fortified wines of Andalusia. 

Verdejo is to Rueda what Albariño is to Rias Biaxas - both champion grapes of cooler, northern "Green Spain".

But look out, there's another beautiful grape to keep your eye out for. 

For many years, Bobal was the go-to grape when Spanish winemakers wanted to add body to their hefty reds. It was little more than a workhorse grape, vastly under-appreciated - much like a Hollywood script doctor.
In recent years, the grape has revealed itself to be a stronger blending partner with the likes of Tempranillo and Garnacha. As a varietal wine, it has excellent aging potential especially in such DOs as Utiel-Requena and Valencia in the Levant. And unlike Monastrell, it has better acidity retention making for refreshing reds with structured tannins.

Established just little over a decade ago, this small family-owned bodega  located 100km west of Valencia  sits on 80 hectares of mostly Bobal grapes. Thus far, the Sarrión clan has refused to join the DO Utiel-Requena and their wines tend to fall under the designation of Vino de la Tierra el Terrerazo.

Mustiguillo has been highly praised, named one of the top twenty new wineries in  Food & Wine Magazine's annual Wine Issue (Oct. 2004). 

Their 2002 Finca Terrarazo was made from a blend of sixty-five percent Bobal, twenty percent Tempranillo and fifteen percent Cabernet Sauvignon with seventeen months in French oak barrels. The 2005 was rated 92 points by The Wine Advocates' Jay Miller and 91 points by Josh Reynolds of International Wine Cellar.

If you want value, Mustiguillo's "Mestizaje" is the wine to grab for your BBQ dinners this summer. The 2005 was given 89 points by Jay Miller but the recent 2007 vintage received 90 points by the same critic.

Like the Finca Terrarazo, the wine is primarily Bobal (70% in this case) with Garnacha, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in for good measure and complexity. Oak and barrel-aged (6 months) the wine delivers heady red fruit, licorice, blueberry, brown sugar and a spicy black pepper finish. Ideal with steak and other flame-broiled fair.

MOVE OVER MALBEC - Last year Malbec was the go-to wine for backyard BBQ season. Let's make Bobal the new beef-friendly buddy.

Mustiguillo's "Mestizaje" is available in the Vintages section at your local LCBO for $16.95.

Jeffs, Julian, The Wines of Spain. Mitchell Beazley, London, 2006.
Radford, John, The New Spain. Mitchell Beazley, London, 2007. 
Robinson, Jancis, The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 2003.



Post a Comment

About This Blog

My focus is mainly on wine culture, history and education. I love the stories behind wine - the people, places and the regional personalities of the wine-countries around the world.

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP