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The Bobal Grape


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About Bobal

(Synonyms: Balau, Benicarló, Bobos, Carignan Espagnol, Carginan d’Espagne, Coreana, Espagnol, Moravio, Pobretón, Provechón, Rajeno, Requena, Terret d’Espagne, Tinta Madrid, Tonto de Zurra.)

Background

Map showing the Utiel-Requena region of Spain.

Bobal is an old red-wine grape originating in the region of Utiel-Requena in eastern central Spain. It is today grown in the Spanish provinces of Valencia, Cueneca, and Albacete (though Sardinia also produces some).

Owing to the vines’ habit of ripening unevenly, less-carefully made renditions can be a bit rustic (though that is not necessarily a bad thing), but at its best the grape produces deeply colored smooth wines that have good acidity without high alcohol levels and are well-structured.

Bobal is another old grape variety long used for cheap bulk wine but now emerging, with the new emphasis on re-discovering neglected grapes, as quite a star, well capable of making world-class wines. A modern well-made Bobal is dark in color, tannic, acidic, of silky texture, and laden with a complex of flavors, typically all sorts of fruits—from dark-reds like cherry to dark blues like plum, blueberry and prune—plus more subtle overlays from the classic red-wine tobacco and chocolate to licorice.

Factoid: Bobal is ancient, indeed: amphorae and limestone lagares from as far back as the 7th century BCE bear witness to that.

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Some Descriptions of Bobal Wines

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Some Bobals to Try

(About this list.)

As wine writer Beppi Crosariol has put it, “Don’t expect to unearth a wealth of bobal wines at your friendly neighbourhood liquor store. It’s still an insider’s grape, championed mainly by keen sommeliers in fine restaurants…” Indeed so; some of the wines listed below are scarcer than we like for these lists, but it’s what there is.


Ponce “La Casilla” Bobal

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Ponce “Clos Lojen” Bobal

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Atance Bobal

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Sierra Norte “Temperamento” Bobal
(This is one of several Bobal bottlings by them—see below.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Sierra Norte “Pasión de Bobal” Bobal
(This is one of several Bobal bottlings by them—see above.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Bobal wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.