Expressive and open on the nose, with aromas of field berries, damson and a touch of black licorice. On the palate, the berries replay, with some earthy elements, anise and plum notes. The tannins are quite mild, with the balance coming more from acidity. Dominated by primary fruit flavours and not nearly as rustic as many other examples of Bobal.
Bobal is a dark-skinned wine grape variety native to Utiel-Requena. Thick skins, late budding and drought-resistance have made it well-suited to the dry, continental landscape where it makes its home. This under-the-radar grape is the 2nd most planted red wine in Spain (behind Tempranillo). Bobal wines are loved for their fruity flavors, soft tannins and velvety finish.
Chozas Carrascal is located in Valencia, in Spain’s Mediterranean east. A number of factors combine to create the special conditions at this estate. The property sits at 700m above sea level, approximately 40 miles (65 km) from the coast. Despite its proximity to the sea, the climate is decidedly continental, making for hot summers, cold winters and large diurnal temperature variations. The estate’s dry setting is somewhat offset by its limestone-rich soils, which importantly retain moisture. DO Utiel-Requena produces mostly red wines and nearly 95% of the vineyards are planted with red grape varieties.
Chozas Carrascal has been daring in its viticulture approach, planting its vines at a density of 1,335/acre (3,300/ha), far denser than any vineyards nearby. This forces vines to compete for water and nutrients and drives yields down. The vineyards grow on a slight slope. Sunlight, cool coastal breezes and loamy, chalky soil all contribute to the quality of the wines produced.
Hand-harvested and de-stemmed grapes are fermented in concrete tanks. Gentle pump overs are done three times a day to extract colour during fermentation. The fermentation begins with full oxygen, but the concrete eggs are sealed to oxygen during the final stages. The wine sees no oak before being bottled.