Garnacha and Monastrell have long dominated top quality wine production in Southeastern Spain until now — enter Bobal. For decades, Bobal served primarily as the raw material for bulk wines produced by cooperatives, either for local consumption or export. However, in recent years a handful of winemakers have made an effort to rediscover this indigenous grape.
Bobal is mainly produced in the DO Manchuela, located in the Meseta region. Small producers have resurrected old Bobal vineyards and made wines that are both distinctive and delicious. Throughout the region of Manchuela, old vineyards grow resolutely in sandy limestone soils, recognizable by their thick gnarled vines, trained for decades into free-standing goblet shapes.
Winemakers in the area are focused on their commitment to not only the grape, but also to the region. Producers believe that Manchuela now has the capacity to make wines that can compete with any other region in the world.
Eric Asimov, a wine critic for The New York Times, describes the history of Bobal and how several producers in the region of Manchuela rediscovered the grape.
“Bobal is the most distinctive variety the Manchuela region has to offer, and in the right hands the wines can be fascinating. The tannins are firm, yes, but the grape also has great acidity and freshness and can transmit the nuances of terroir.”
Read more of Eric’s report on Bobal wines and its history HERE.