A typistic Cab Franc nose of black currant, red pepper, blueberry, spice and a touch of menthol. The palate is refined, with a solid tannic backbone, though the wine is approachable now. Medium-bodied, it has layers of complexity, with black fruits and spice notes interwoven with crunchy minerality and a long, savoury finish. Serve at cellar temperature with a Striploin or hearty root vegetable stew.
Cabernet Franc, one of the key Bordeaux varieties, is actually the parent of the more well-known Cabernet Sauvignon. Needing plenty of sunlight and long hang times, it is particularly suited to moderate or cool climates. The vines can be prone to vigour, so canopy management and keeping crop sizes down is key to avoiding too many green, herbaceous notes. An excellent blending partner, Cab Franc is rapidly gaining popularity in the New World for its ability to maintain balance, even with occasional elevated alcohol levels.
Utiel-Requena is a Spanish Denominación de Origen Protegida for wines located in the province of Valencia. It takes its name from the two neighbouring towns of Utiel and Requena and is renowned for the predominant use of the Bobal grape variety. Although these wines are moderately contemporary, the region is anything but. Traces of Phoenician amphorae suggest viticulture and wine production here date at least as far back as the 7th century BC.
Chozas Carrascal is a family winery with the Pago Chozas Carrascal Designation of Origin. Due to its elevation and proximity to the Juan Navarro mountain range, which contributes dominant northern winds, it is one of the coldest areas in Valencia. The extension of the Sierra Juan Navarro to the southeast slows down a large part of the clouds that come from the Mediterranean loaded with water so rainfall at Chozas Carrascal is less than in other areas of the region. The vineyard relies greatly on the south western facing sunlight, radiating more than 3,000 hours of direct sunlight per year.
Manual harvest with individual berry selection. Vinified in a 100 hL concrete tank with a 3 week maceration and twice daily pumpovers. The wine is then transferred to French oak barrels that have previously been used for fermentation and aged on the lees of white wine. During the first months of aging, batônnage is carried out weekly, with the wine remaining in barrel for 7 months.