Wine of the Month
Featured Wine: Atance Bobal Valencia
Denominacion De Origen
Grape Variety: 100% Bobal
Certified Organic/Sustainable Practices
Vinification: Grapes selected on site and harvested manually. Temperature-controlled fermentation.
Aging: Six months in concrete and steel tanks with light bâtonnage* of sediments.
Color: Dark Ruby Red
Price: Around $12
I am an avid thrifter, and recently came upon what I can only describe as a whirlwind of fabulous leisure wear. There is a secret to going to thrift stores that I will share with you: ‘no expectations.’ I mean, you’ve gotta walk in not knowing if you will find the best dress ever, or a pair of amazing jeans – maybe nothing, you never know. I found a complete set of hoodie and pants in terry cloth for $3 – amazing! It fits perfectly and I cannot stop wearing it (I call it my leisure suit and feel like a kinda super fly retired guy in Palm Springs).
What is better than something so delicious that is also so very inexpensive? On that note, please allow me to introduce you to Atance Bobal Valencia. People rarely speak of the Bobal grape in America, yet it is the second most grown grape in Spain, indigenous to Valencia. What a delicious, well rounded, fabulous, wonderful wine, and you can find it for around $12 – (it is worth a lot more). Bring a bottle of this to anyone’s home and they will be impressed. I’d be shocked if they weren’t.
I’ve noticed that more often than not, when people spend a minimal amount on a bottle of wine, they are less likely to participate in any sort of ceremony. Many people think (in a variety of scenarios) the more something costs, the better it is, but that is not always the case, especially when it comes to wine. Don’t be fooled, and don’t let a high price tag sway you when it comes to wine; the price tells you nothing of the quality. So, yes, please welcome all ceremonies with Atance.
To start, Atance needs to breathe; that will allow the little bit of earthy funk to dissipate. Once you are ready to take in this wine, you will be quite pleased. The nose is full of spicy black and white pepper, pomegranate, slightly ripe red cherry, blueberry, ripe black cherry, cucumber and the tiniest bit of herbaceous dill. The nose is unique and enticing. The palate is fleshy and filled with those cherries and berries, subtle tannins drawing out the peppery-pepper, with an acidic finish. Somewhere in the finish I detected this faint grapefruit/Granny Smith apple note, which softened the acidic finish and made it more desirable. It is good!
Atance, a medium bodied wine, has much depth and will uplift almost any meal. My first pairing was with a creamy white mushroom sauce over fettuccine. I should add that I also had a glass (or so) while cooking and it was more than grand on its own. But man, oh man did Atance bring that meal to life. The rich sauce of cream, butter, garlic, parsley and parmesan came alive under the tutelage of Atance; the meatiness of the mushrooms seemed a perfect match. Even the bread I served along with this meal, spread with salted butter, was a great companion. My second pairing was with a lightly seasoned lamb shank roasted with potatoes and carrots. Again, Atance stood up to the challenge, upped that meal, and made it a wonderful experience. Both meals were so good that I had regrets that so few had the chance to enjoy them.
So many holidays are almost upon us and if you are hosting, you have got to take advantage of this wine. Place carafes of Atance on a table, along with a few of the actual bottles, (they are pretty), thick-glassed, wide-rimmed wine goblets accompanied by loads of food; crudité, bread, butter, creamy dipping sauces, olive tapenade, stuffed mushrooms, quiche, even meats and cheeses or small sandwiches with creamy horseradish. If you have the skills, whip up some paella and place that in the center. Vases with red and white roses and a sprig of rosemary or pine clippings all around your home will add a touch of festive air. You may have many guests from near and far, old and young, so make a nice mix of music from a variety of eras. Start with the era of the oldest guests and stop at the era of the youngest. What a wonderful way to celebrate with the people you love.
Thank you so much for reading my reviews. I truly wish you and yours an amazing, uplifting, holiday season, filled with lots of love, delicious food, delicious wine and joy!
A tu salud!
* Bâtonnage is the technique they referred to on their website although it is more commonly specific to Chardonnay. This is a process that allows a winemaker to displace the expired yeast cells at the bottom of a barrel throughout the wine barrel through gentle agitation. The winemaker uses a long metal tool that is inserted through the bung hole of a wine barrel and is then used to softly stir the wine. The sediment that builds up at the bottom of the wine barrel is known as lees, which is just another word for dead or residual yeast cells. By dispersing the lees throughout the wine in the barrel, it allows for an even texture and flavor to be imparted to the wine. (1)
1-The Art of Bâtonnage by Kellie Duckhorn