Red Wine Bessa Valley Enira Duo 2019. Between Bulgaria’s impressive Rhodope Mountains and the mighty Maritsa River is the Bessa Valley which was once the home of the ancient Thracian people. Today it is known for its excellent wines thanks to pioneers like Count Stephan von Neipperg, owner of the respected Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere in Bordeaux, who recognised the potential of the local terroir. What makes this place so special is the clay limestone soils and warm summers which are moderated by the nearby mountains and river system. In total the Bessa Valley winery has 140 hectares of vines mostly planted with Bordeaux varietals like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. This particular cuvee celebrates Merlot with a dash of Syrah for extra complexity. On the nose you’ll immediately notice the rich dark fruit notes of boysenberry, cassis, and ripe plum along with deeper hints of spice, bitter chocolate and tobacco leaf. The first sip reveals a very approachable flavour profile with soft tannins, a generous medium body, and a long spicy finish. The easy-going nature and bright fruit make this a great wine to pair with cured meats and cheeses as well as Italian dishes like lasagna.
Red Wine Bessa Valley Enira Duo 2019
Red Wine Mustiguillo La Garnacha de Mustiguillo 2019. Bodega Mustiguillo was founded in 1972 by winemaker Toni Sarrion and his family who helped put this corner of the Comunidad Valenciana on the map for top quality Bobal wines. The estate is best known for its exceptional Finca Terrerazo vineyard which was the first in the region to be recognised as a Vino de Pago site, the Spanish equivalent of a cru. Conditions here are ideal for premium winemaking thanks to the old vines, top quality sandy and chalky soils, and dry, hot summers. The vineyard sits at an altitude of 800 metres above sea level and is farmed organically to produce healthy fruit and help protect the site for future generations. Alongside their prized Bobal grapes, the family also grow Garnacha here which thrives in the arid, warm conditions. The grapes are harvested by hand and fermented in 50 and 80 hectolitre oak tanks with some stem added to contribute extra tannin and character. The young wine is then aged in a mixture of small oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. This creates a vivacious, lively red with plenty of well-rounded, smooth tannins, bright red fruit and a robust full body with a long finish. A great wine to serve with the traditional local paella, hearty stews, or roast lamb.
Red Wine Bodegas Ponce Tinto 2019. The Manchuela region of southeastern Spain is best known for its rustic and powerful red wines made from the indigenous Bobal grape which aren’t particularly well-known outside of the country. Producers like Bodegas Ponce are seeking to change this thanks to a strong focus on their exceptional terroir and minimalist winemaking techniques that put the fruit centre stage. Juan Antonio Ponce founded his namesake winery at the young age of 23 and is fast building a reputation for inspired natural wines crafted using biodynamic practices. This punchy red is primarily composed of Bobal along with a drop of the local Moravia Agria grape to add extra complexity. Grapes are sourced from old vines grown on 40 small plots on the high plateau where the cooler nights and hot sunny days help to achieve perfectly ripe yet balanced fruit. Once in the winery Juan ferments each variety separately with wild yeasts in neutral wooden vats. The young wine is then aged in 600-litre French oak barrels and bottled without any filtering or clarifying to avoid diluting the pure natural character of the wine. This hands off approach to winemaking creates a robust and intense red that’s bursting with dark sour cherries, plums, damsons and hints of licorice, baked earth and spice. A great wine to cellar for a few more years or serve now alongside hearty red meat dishes.